Home Reviews Review: Hot Pursuit

Review: Hot Pursuit

Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon star in Warner Bros. Pictures' "Hot Pursuit"

Few cinematic experiences are as painful to endure as a bad comedy. Dramas can have poor acting and invasive scores, or soap operas incoherent plots, but their shortcomings pale in comparison to the embarrassment of a joke that fails to land. Though Hot Pursuit is not the worst cinematic experience I have had this year, its lack of actual comedy is decidedly cringeworthy.

The film’s premise is unnecessarily complicated. Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) is a no-nonsense cop who follows rules and regulations to a fault. Picture any uptight female with no ear for sarcasm that you have seen on screen countless times, and you get the idea of how prototypical Cooper is. After being put on desk duty for tasing a college student who shouted “Shotgun!” to call dibs on the front passenger seat of a car which she mistook for a firearm declaration, Cooper is finally given a field assignment.

She is to accompany a detective to aid in getting a drug lord’s accountant into witness protection. This criminal’s wife, Daniella (Sofía Vergara), is entering the system as a snitch as well, and the force requires a female officer for any females in their custody. Have you noticed yet that every detail in the plot is over-explained, as if to legitimize each item as a proper factor? Hot Pursuit is filled with these over-justifications and near constant exposition. In a comedy this is tiring, as the actual plot does not need to be so tediously detailed. For brevity’s sake: Cooper and Daniella end up on the lamb, outrunning dirty cops.

The film seems to think that the contrast between the uptight and tiny white woman with the beautiful and spicy Latina woman is enough to carry the film, but it is not. There is barely any comradery between the two, and not even any real chemistry between their characters. Both Witherspoon and Vergara seem to be dedicated to their caricatures to the detriment of developing a repertoire. The few times they do try to work together for their common goal it feels more natural that when they are butting heads, but the comedy is strained.

Beyond two or three mildly humorous moments, all of the film’s jokes are obvious and predictable. When the women have a conversation about their different clothing styles, you can see Danielle’s jab at Cooper by calling her “Officer lesbian” a mile away. The lack of actual comedy was honestly a little surprising. Noted comedians Mike Birbiglia and Jim Gaffigan have cameos in Hot Pursuit, and I must have mistaken their presence in the film as a blessing of sort.

There is also a fundamental issue with Cooper’s character arc. Character development and growth should be included in most films. It keeps the plot rolling, offers the audience an investment in the character’s future, and is much more interesting than watching a static personality for the length of the film. Cooper’s initial presentation as an uptight pencil-pusher lends itself to her eventually easing up on rules and learning to understand that not everything in life is black and white. At the end of the film Cooper is predictably more sexual, more relaxed, and willing to forgive Daniella for her crimes. There is no originality in that! It would have been much more interesting to see her ultimately rewarded for being a loyal police officer, or seeing Daniella somehow become a less over-the-top sexpot, but nothing remotely interesting happens here.

Hot Pursuit is predictable, unfunny, and boring. Unless you prefer your comedies with an absolute void of fun, I would suggest you stay far away.

Rating: PG-13

Director: Anne Fletcher

Cast:
Reese Witherspoon
Sofía Vergara
Matthew Del Negro
Michael Mosley
Robert Kazinsky

Film Length: 87 minutes

Release Date: May 8, 2015

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

  • (L-r) Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera star in Paramount's BAYWATCH

    Review: Baywatch (2017)

    Not too long after it begins, I noticed that Baywatch was going to follow the same path as…
  • Johnny Depp stars in Disney's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

    Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

    I figured we would see the end of these Pirates of the Caribbean movies after the third on…
  • Liev Schreiber and Jim Gaffigan star in IFC Films' CHUCK

    Review: Chuck

    A movie like Chuck is an awkward property to try to sell to the public. For one thing, it&…
  • Image from 20th Century Fox's ALIEN: COVENANT

    Review: Alien: Covenant

    My only hope beforehand was that Alien: Covenant was better than Prometheus. To a signific…
  • Charlie Hunnam stars in Warner Bros. Pictures' KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD

    Review: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

    King Arthur: Legend of the Sword fits right in with many of the other flicks about this my…
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars in Roadside Attractions THE WALL

    Review: The Wall

    Not knowing what The Wall was about, I went into it open-minded and hoping for the best. A…
Load More Related Articles
Load More By Deirdre Crimmins
  • (L-r) Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera star in Paramount's BAYWATCH

    Review: Baywatch (2017)

    Not too long after it begins, I noticed that Baywatch was going to follow the same path as…
  • Johnny Depp stars in Disney's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

    Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

    I figured we would see the end of these Pirates of the Caribbean movies after the third on…
  • Liev Schreiber and Jim Gaffigan star in IFC Films' CHUCK

    Review: Chuck

    A movie like Chuck is an awkward property to try to sell to the public. For one thing, it&…
  • Image from 20th Century Fox's ALIEN: COVENANT

    Review: Alien: Covenant

    My only hope beforehand was that Alien: Covenant was better than Prometheus. To a signific…
  • Charlie Hunnam stars in Warner Bros. Pictures' KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD

    Review: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

    King Arthur: Legend of the Sword fits right in with many of the other flicks about this my…
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars in Roadside Attractions THE WALL

    Review: The Wall

    Not knowing what The Wall was about, I went into it open-minded and hoping for the best. A…
Load More In Reviews

Leave a Reply

Check Also

Review: Gold

Gold is one of those films that is fun to watch, but never quite settles into its own stri…