Director Anne Fletcher has been quoted saying she’s only concerned with making movies for audience satisfaction. Well she’s got a lot of explaining to do after this one.
Cooper is a straight-laced yet inexperienced cop who has never had the opportunity to prove herself in the field. One day she gets her big break when she is asked to help transport a Cartel witness to testify in Dallas. She and a superior officer go to the witness’ compound to pick him up and meet his wife, Daniella. As, they are getting ready, the compound is attacked by assassins and Cooper must escape with a reluctant Daniella in her protective custody. The two then go on a whacky wild ride in an attempt to clear their names and help land the cartel leader in jail.
I’ve never seen a movie try so hard, and in great detail, to emulate and recreate another bad movie. That’s what we have here with Hot Pursuit and its pursuit of making a frame for frame remake of the Sandra Bullock comedy The Heat. Overall it is a slackly constructed poorly choreographed, mish mash of madness. Hot Pursuit is a mixture of so many buddy comedy movies that were also not very good. It’s trying to be like Due Date and at the same time there are elements of The Gauntlet and even a little Thelma and Louise. One thing Hot Pursuit is not, is original, or all that funny.
The way this move is written and shot, it would make you believe that the director has to be a male chauvinist with a depraved sexist mind. Funny thing about that is, it was directed by a female. The main characters, the sexy and the sexless, trip every single stereotype in the book. If you’re looking for some female empowerment you’ll have to look elsewhere. Witherspoon (who served as a producer) plays the uptight straight laced, police code spouting officer Cooper. Sofia Vergara plays Daniella, the fast talking glamorous and sarcastic drug lord wife. In an effort to try and make a Midnight Run of sorts these two are a tandem meant to induce laughter when juxtaposed against one another. The problem is neither of them are even remotely funny at any point.
The humor is meant to kick into high gear when the duo go on the run to avoid crooked cops and crazy cartel member, unfortunately for the audience it’s just a series of over the top slapstick silliness. The absurd dialogue does nothing but suppress any humor that may have been delivered, even unintentionally. The film is full of run of the mill goofy situations that wouldn’t even work on a sketch comedy show. Case in point the classic “makeover” scene that appears in all dumb comedies. The not so subtle jabs at Witherspoons abnormally large underwear, are meant to be whimsical, but instead the jokes don’t land. The equally dopey escape through the bathroom cliche is unoriginal and boorishly executed. Then of course the discovery of the hot guy meant to play the love interest to one of the characters, problem here is the scene is completely unnecessary to drive the story and the chemistry is awkward and displaced.
There is an overlying arc in the film that serves as the main purposing, but that arc has very little to do with what we see on screen. Mostly we just watch Witherspoon and Vergara jump from one irrational situation to the next, humiliating themselves.
Hot Pursuit is a harshly tone deaf film full of goofy nonsensical situational comedy that does little more than leave a bad taste in your mouth. A giant step back in the careers of it’s stars, and an equally large step back for female empowerment. Vergara is just north of cartoonish and just south of a latina Dane Cook. Witherspoon, who is coming off of an oscar worthy performance in Wild, sells out and phones it in with a fruitless effort. This film spends so much time begging you to laugh at it, that it failed to realize that it wasn’t doing anything remotely funny or original. Hot Pursuit, if seen in theaters, will provide individuals with a ten dollar lesson on offensively lazy filmmaking. Stealing concepts and sometimes even entire scenes from other features and piecing them together in one big hot mess.
1/5 Not Cool Bro!