Harrison Ford is the veteran cop whose runs a real estate business on the side (and businessisn’t good). Josh Hartnett is his young partner who is thinking of givine up police work in favourof acting. Their current case involves a massacre at a night club, where the members of an up-and-coming rap group were gunned down. They investigate while trying to keep their alternatecareers going. More trouble lurks in the form of Internal Affairs investigator Bruce Greenwood,who has…it in for Ford. Matters are not helped by the fact that Ford is seeing radio psychic LenaOlin, who happens to be Greenwood’s ex. There are some nicely observed character turns here,but as a whole, the film succeeds neither as a comedy nor as a thriller. The characters aren’tdeveloped enough for what is supposed to be character-driven humour to work except in fits andstarts, and the investigation eventually degenerates into a boringly protracted chase. It’s nice tosee Lena Olin being allowed to play sexy, but that, unfortunately, is all she’s really allowed to do,which is a sad waste. The film isn’t boring, but it is such a by-the-numbers exercise that you’reforgetting the movie even as you’re watching it.
The sound is most impressive. The mix is very strong, requiring very little volume boostingto sound loud. The music is fine, with excellent surround separation of lead and backing vocals.The sound effects are very nicely placed, especially when it comes to the ricocheting sounds ofbullets. The sense of environment is almost total. Yet in all the mayhem, the dialogue is alwaysclear and never distorts.
The picture comes in both fullscreen and 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen aspects. Contrasts,blacks and flesh tones are all excellent. There is no grain or edge enhancement flaws, pixellationis non-existent. The colours are bright and rich, with stellar night sequences (where we mighthave run into grain or bleaching). The image itself is extremely sharp. This is one fine-lookingdisc.
Not a whole heck of a lot here, and the menu is silent and still, belying the fact that this was,theatrically, a major release. (Perhaps reflecting lackluster box office?) At any rate, beyond thefilmographies (for Shelton, Ford, Hartnett and co-writer Robert Souza) and trailers (forHollywood Homicide, Air Force One, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,The Devil’s Own, Radio, and The Missing), there’s the commentary byRon Shelton. Shelton is a reliably interesting commentator, and he covers both the technical sideof the film and what his artistic intentions were. Of special interest is finding out how much ofthe script drew on actual incidents in the life of Souza, who was essentially the model for theFord character.
Pretty much everyone involved has made much better films. This isn’t terrible, mind you.It’s just there. Terrific sound and picture, though.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Theatrical Trailers