Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Sofía Vergara, Matthew Del Negro, Michael Mosley, John Carroll Lynch
Directed By: Anne Fletcher
Written By: David Feeney, John Quaintance
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 1 hr 27 min
After seeing the trailer for Hot Pursuit, I set my expectations to their lowest possible setting. Because what I saw suggested a comedy that would likely set back women’s equality ten years, and certainly derail the great progress Reese Witherspoon was making as a producer. Following last year’s critical and commercial successes with Gone Girl and Wild (in my top 5 for 2014), which also earned Reese a well deserved Oscar nomination for best actress.
Unfortunately, the trailer for this movie was the most successful part of this production, as it totally nailed what this film was about. A set of ridiculous contrivances to get two over-the-top yet opposite caricatures into absurd situations, while simultaneously playing to every buddy cop, female lead, road trip cliché. It seems writers David Feeney and John Quaintance believe a woman is not a woman unless she’s A: young, B: tall, C: stacked and D: prefers barely there underwear and impracticable shoes.
Which goes to show you how even the most talented actor/producer can take a wrong turn, and perhaps lose sight of the details that go into a great comedy. On paper, this probably looked like a slam-dunk. Two attractive talented leads, and an admittedly fun premise with plenty of potential for humor. What landed in our theaters however, squandered all that by not letting the premise naturally fuel the humor in the story. And opted instead to repeatedly shoehorn its lead characters into unrealistic situations which made no sense. It’s also a massive red flag when one of the lead characters feels the need to remind the audience what they just saw.
“We have been set up, shot at, and hunted down!”
Set your expectations low, and you may get a few laughs out of this film. In the theater I was in, I did hear laughter, but mostly from women. Hot Pursuit is rated PG-13 so it never gets too racy, or too violent.
This isn’t a visual spectacle, and doesn’t need to be seen in the theater. A SD or HD rental at home on any device you care to watch it on will do.
Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) and Daniella (Sofia Vergara) are fighting in a hotel room – each trying to reach a gun that has dropped onto the floor. This scene was shot and edited so badly, and seemed to have no understanding of the physical size of its leads and the room they were in. As in, at multiple times it seemed clear the gun could easily be reached, but in each case the character falls short of the target. Like the clearly queen sized bed suddenly kept switching to a California king, and Sofia Vergara was suddenly only 4 feet tall.
References: IMDB – Hot Pursuit (2015)