By Mike D'Angelo
Updated March 03, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

Harrison Ford performances generally come in one of two flavors: rakish (Han Solo, Indiana Jones) or righteous (Jack Ryan, Air Force One‘s President Whupass). Those who saw his charged work in 1986’s The Mosquito Coast, however, know that deep beneath his where’s-my-mark pro veneer lurk the makings of a first-rate character actor. Random Hearts, which was savaged by critics and ignored by audiences last fall, isn’t a terribly good movie, but it does provide Ford with a long-overdue chance to play unsympathetic again, and that alone almost makes it worth seeing — especially at home, where you can fast-forward through some of the heftier dramatic longueurs.

Ford plays an Internal Affairs flatfoot who receives two pieces of devastating news: (1) His wife has been cheating on him, and (2) his wife has been killed in a plane crash. Unable to cope with the latter, he becomes self-destructively obsessed with the details of the former, hounding the widow (Kristin Scott Thomas) of his wife’s lover for information. The relationship that develops between the grieving pair is laughable, but Ford’s dissociative recklessness gives the movie a surprisingly bracing edge, and it’s a pleasant surprise to see him tackle a part that doesn’t feel like it was constructed on the big-movie-star assembly line. B-