Hot Pursuit has to be one of the more ill-conceived comedies to come down the pike in a while but even more perplexing are the two leads who aren’t in the least bit untalented actually signed on not only to star but served as producers. Granted, I’m sure the cast and crew had a blast while making it but for the audience, it’s an absolute chore to sit through. This is the type of crap that will end up airing on TBS in no time.
Genre(s): Comedy, Adventure, Crime
Warner Bros. | PG13 – 88 min. – $35.99 | August 11, 2015
THE MOVIE – 1.0/5
Hot Pursuit seems like one of those movies within another movie, a joke at just how dumb and formulaic it is. This so-called buddy comedy flick is downright brutal, forced from the word “action” and features not just one but both lead actresses who are utterly and haplessly obnoxious. Of course, it’s not like the humor does them any favors.
The premise features by-the-book officer Cooper (REESE WITHERSPOON) was raised by a cop, now deceased. Due to an incident involving the mayor’s son, setting him on fire with a taser (mixed with spilt alcohol), she is relegated to the basement handling evidence intake. But she receives a big break from her captain (JOHN CARROLL LYNCH): accompany Deputy U.S. Marshal Jackson (RICHARD T. JONES) to escort a witness, and his wife Daniella Riva (SOFIA VERGARA), against notorious drug cartel leader Vincente Cortez (JOAQUIN COSIO). After their arrival, and meeting the skittish witness and a brash wife, the compound is attacked on two fronts: a couple thugs and the other a couple whiteys, both surprised by the other’s presence. In the chaos, both the witness and Jackson are killed leaving Cooper to take Daniella and escape.
Through some inane actions but both our heroines, they are without phones (one getting dropped outside the car, the other smashed) but Cooper manages to call into dispatch and shortly Detectives Hauser (MATTHEW DEL NEGRO) and Dixon (MICHAEL MOSLEY) but to no one’s surprise except Coop, they’re dirty cops working for Cortez. They yet again evade capture, are on the lam and wanted by authorities. More hilarity ensues as Cooper and Daniella get the other’s nerves in what I can only describe as the road trip from hell, though frighteningly better than Tammy.
I really, really, did not like this movie. Not only did the jokes utterly fall flat but everything, every element of Hot Pursuit is forced. The two leads are annoying and while I guess the filmmakers were trying to, in some way, channel Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in 48 Hrs., there is absolutely no chemistry, even the bitter kind, between Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. With Witherspoon, she’s a fine actress and has turned in great performances but even with the poor screenplay and obvious jokes, she never looked right in the by-the-book cop role while Vergara, from what I understand having never seen the show, is more or less her character from “Modern Family”.
In one of the stranger aspects, the film was helmed by Anne Fletcher best known for Step Up and before, as a back-up dancer on a variety of films. I’m not entirely sure why the studio chose Fletcher unless they wanted a female director with two female leads but certainly there were better women directors, though I suppose they actually read the script, unlike Witherspoon and Vergara apparently (who are also producers), and wisely turned the project down.
Hot Pursuit is dumb and not dumb fun but completely voids of laughs, and it’s not like I won’t laugh at stupid jokes, and features two of the more obnoxious characters I’ve come across in some time. I’m not quite sure how it even got greenlit with the script, written by David Feeney (“According to Jim”) and John Quaintance (“Joey”), was awful with each and every joke falling flat to go along with a messy and haphazard story.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside is a standard DVD Copy and a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
The Womance (3:05; HD) – This take on the bromance is a behind-the-scenes featurette with on-set interviews with the cast intercut with footage of the stars having a grand old time. Glad somebody had fun.
Hot Pursuit: Say What? (3:46; HD) is a featurette where I guess the joke is the inability to understand Sofia Vergara.
Action Like a Lady (2:26; HD) breaks down some of the action/chase/stunt scenes.
Alternate Ending (1:28; HD) – If they had only used this it’d been a better movie… or not. It’s merely bonus footage of the variety of supporting characters talking about their experiences with the two leads.
Preview – The Intern
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Hot Pursuit chases its way onto Blu-ray presented in its original theatrical 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given a pleasing 1080p high-definition transfer. Detail levels are generally good whether close-ups or the more distant shots. There is a fair bit of natural noise though nothing overabundant and there were no apparent signs of aliasing, artifacting or over-sharpening. Colors are generally well balanced while moving more toward warmer tones while still keeping things bright for the comedy genre.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is relatively decent providing for clear enough dialogue while also showcasing some of the action-oriented scenes especially the bus chase/shootout. The bulk of the audio comes through the center channel while the rear channels are mainly used for ambient and off-screen noises as well as the generic score/soundtrack.
OVERALL – 1.25/5
Overall, Hot Pursuit has to be one of the more ill-conceived comedies to come down the pike in a while but even more perplexing are the two leads who aren’t in the least bit untalented actually signed on not only to star but served as producers. Granted, I’m sure the cast and crew had a blast while making it but for the audience, it’s an absolute chore to sit through. This is the type of crap that will end up airing on TBS in no time.
Brian Oliver aka The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.