Film Review: ‘Hot Pursuit’ is an Unoriginal, Redundant Hot Mess

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CHICAGO – I get it. The old fashioned buddy movie, except with the twist of the femme-flavor-of-the-moment Sofia Vergara and runty Reese Witherspoon. It practically writes itself. In fact, that might be the only legitimate excuse for the mess that is “Hot Pursuit” – it wrote itself.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

With a title so lazy it should come with its own hammock, “Hot Pursuit” recycles every plot point and joke stylings from every buddy picture ever made. What could have been an interesting twist – Sofia Vergara has established herself as a funny character on TV’s “Modern Family” – turns into a shriek fest with Vergara doing most of the unfunny shrieking, with a philosophy of “If we say the jokes louder maybe they’ll be funny…” Reese Witherspoon, who is no slouch when it comes to doing comedy (Her Tracy Flick role in “Election” is one of the funniest characters of the past 20 years), seems lost as well, and can’t work her way past the bad script. The old show business saying holds true for this one, “you can screw up a good script a hundred different ways, but you can’t made a bad script better no matter what you do.”

Officer Cooper (Witherspoon) is a by-the-book police force desk jockey, desperately looking for a street case. Her wish is granted when a drug lord begins killing all of the material witnesses against him, and Cooper’s assignment becomes to protect Danielle Riva (Vergara), the wife of one of those witnesses. They are ambushed at Riva’s home, the husband is killed, and now the two mismatched pair must go on the lam.

Like every fugitive ever pursued, Riva carries a mysterious rolling suitcase – which leads to a redundant sight gag just watching her pull in over various surfaces in high heels – and dresses in figure hugging clothes. Cooper, in the meantime, while perplexed with her new on-the-run partner, clings to her assignment until the confrontation with the drug lord becomes inevitable.

“Hot Pursuit” opens everywhere on May 8th. Featuring Sofia Vergara, Reese Witherspoon, Jim Gaffigan, Mike Birbiglia, Richard T. Jones and Matthew Del Negro Written by David Feeney and John Quaintance. Directed by Anne Fletcher. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Hot Pursuit”

Sonia Vergara, Reese Witherspoon
Let’s Try Screaming the Jokes! Riva (Sonia Vergara) and Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) in ‘Hot Pursuit’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Hot Pursuit”

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