Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Matthew Del Negro
Director: Anne Fletcher
Running Time: 88 mins
Hot Pursuit is an American film about an enthusiastic police officer who, after being stuck at a desk for many years, is called up to personally protect the wife of a drug lord, however after the operation goes awry, the two race across Texas to escape their various pursuers and find justice.
This is a simple, silly buddy comedy that should have been a lot of fun. With likeable actresses in the lead roles, and a promise of action and comedy in a We’re The Millers sort of way, this had potential, but it went wrong it such a terrible way…
Let’s start with what is the most confusing thing about this film. Everyone loves Reese Witherspoon in basically every role she does – she’s always a joy to watch, so it’s incredible how this film turns her into such an annoying person for its duration.
Making Witherspoon completely overdo the Texan accent is the start of things, but then the completely excessive satirising of ‘police talk’ all the way through being shoved down your throat is even worse, leaving her character as a totally unlikeable and frustratingly irritating protagonist.
Her co-star, Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara, who is also well-liked by many, is simply horribly shrill in this film. I can’t put that down to her performance because we’ve seen what this film did to Reese Witherspoon, so it must be down to the directors and script writers who enabled, and likely pushed Vergara to scream her way through the whole thing, both painful to watch as well as to hear.
So, the destruction of likeable actresses is testament to how bad the writing is here, but it goes further than that. As far as the action and whole chase story goes, it’s appalling too. There’s next to no excitement in the whole thing, and whilst the main point is indeed the comedy, it’s still good to have a little bit of gusto in the plot to keep you interested. However, this is so dull that it’s comparable to the horrible 2010 rom-com ‘The Bounty Hunter‘, with an action plot with no intrigue and comedy as flat as a pancake.
This sort of film can be done well – buddy comedies are popular nowadays, and action comedies have worked on numerous occasions in the past, but this is so far off anything resembling entertaining that you’ve just got to avoid it, and that’s why it gets a 4.9 from me.
(By the way, I laughed once in this film. ONCE. And it was in the first two minutes…)