An abused Hollywood production assistant who wants to direct discovers the easy way to fame and fortune in HIJACKING HOLLYWOOD. As a filmland satire, it's no THE PLAYER (1992) or THE LOVED ONE (1965), but the film does have some amusing moments. Film school graduate Kevin Conroy (Henry Thomas) moves from Detroit to Hollywood to work as a production assistant...read more
An abused Hollywood production assistant who wants to direct discovers the easy way to fame and fortune in HIJACKING HOLLYWOOD. As a filmland satire, it's no THE PLAYER (1992) or THE LOVED ONE (1965), but the film does have some amusing moments.
Film school graduate Kevin Conroy (Henry Thomas) moves from Detroit to Hollywood to work as a production assistant on a new movie by blockbuster producer Michael Lawrence (Mark Metcalf), his aunt's ex-husband. Needing a place to live, he answers an ad and moves in with Tad (Neil Mandt), an amiable
sort who is determined to work in movies even though he has no particular talents. Kevin is put to work under production coordinator Russell Burnside (Scott Thompson), who enjoys running him ragged.
Part of Kevin's job is to pick up the day's filming, shipped to LA from location in Hawaii, at the airport and take it to the lab to be developed. The lack of security at the airport gives him an idea: on the day that Lawrence completes a special effects sequence costing $18 million, Kevin and Tad
will steal the film and, disguising their identities, extort $150,000 from Lawrence, which they will then use to film Kevin's script, "Three Days in a Salt Mine." Worried only that the studio will find out about it, Lawrence easily diverts the cash from his budget. But when he discovers who is
behind the scheme, he threatens Kevin and Tad at gunpoint. Tad reveals that he still has some of the film. He demands that Lawrence get them a production deal with the studio and executive produce their film if he wants to avoid embarrassment. Admiring Tad's brass, he agrees, and Kevin gets to
make his film--with Russell as a PA.
The central notion underlying HIJACKING HOLLYWOOD--the irony of giving poorly-paid production assistants the weighty responsibility of caring for the transportation of film that represents literally millions of dollars--is a great basis for a Hollywood satire. But filmmaker Neil Mandt fails to do
much with it. Instead, he fills out the film with details of Kevin's job as a production assistant (which doesn't really look as demanding or humiliating as that job probably can be) and a pointless subplot involving Kevin with Lawrence's sexpot wife. Mark Metcalf and Scott Thompson are
appropriately obnoxious as Hollywood players, and there are lines of dialogue that film buffs will enjoy ("You got one chance in this business to get it right," Russell tells Kevin. "Unless you're John Landis.") But overall, HIJACKING HOLLYWOOD is merely likable, seldom memorable. Filmed in 1996,
it was released on home video in 1998. (Nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, extreme profanity.)
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