Hot Pursuit

Director: Anne Fletcher

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Mike Birbiglia, Jim Gaffigan, John Carroll Lynch, Robert Kazinsky

Rated: PG-13 (sexual content, violence, language and some drug material)

An uptight and by-the-book cop tries to protect the outgoing widow of a drug boss as they race through Texas pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen.

 

Hot Pursuit

By Matt Greene

I don’t think I can do justice to how bad Hot Pursuit is. It’s amazing, actually, how a movie this lackluster gets a place in the ever-crowded modern cinema. I can only assume MGM is hoping the movie-going audience is as vapid as the characters in this movie. What they clearly don’t recognize is that loud, obnoxious set-pieces aren’t a worthy replacement for interesting characters and actual humor. Sloppy and completely unfunny, Hot Pursuit is hot garbage.

The plot: a cop and a con go on a road trip. However, Midnight Run this is not. Instead of getting laughs from the different ways in which two actualized characters from different worlds might interact, we are given one joke: Witherspoon is short and awkward, Vergara is old and Colombian. That’s it; there is not a shred more depth than that. What a shame, seeing as how neither of these actresses lack in charm or funny-bone. Unfortunately, with the social sensitivity of Carmen Miranda in the 1940s, Vergara is degraded to a sad stereotype. Witherspoon, an especially talented comedienne, does her best to bring some charisma to the proceedings, but the movie fails her at every turn, never passing the quality of a straight-to-DVD release.

Both ladies seemed genuinely miserable in their performances. It actually made me relieved that the pre-credit outtakes showed the two women laughing and getting along. At least someone in Hot Pursuit is having a good time. As for me, the only thing I was in pursuit of was an exit.

Rating: .5 out of 5 stars

 

Hot Pursuit

By Cole Schneider

Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, Hugo’s “Les Miserables”, Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List”: all famous tragedies in which I laughed more often than I did whilst watching the new comedy “Hot Pursuit”. In fact, there isn’t another play, novel, film, or any other artistic or commercial enterprise in which my experience garnered less laughs than “Hot Pursuit”. I chuckled, giggled, and laughed no more than zero times. This in a film whose ambitions are no higher than a single comic gimmick.

“Hot Pursuit” follows two women as they are chased by criminals. One is played by Reese Witherspoon. Her character can be fully explained as a short, uptight cop. The other is played by Sophia Vergara. Her character can be fully explained as a materialistic, attractive older woman. There is nothing beyond their core adjectives, certainly there is nothing human.

There is, however, plenty of racist, sexist attempts at humor. None of it works, but the script is full of effort in this regard. That effort is noteworthy as the rest of the flick is so lazy and careless. Honestly, it is quite remarkable to have made a movie with this many jokes and this few laughs.

Here I write as a genuine public service. Do not watch this movie! Don’t watch it at the theater. Don’t wait for VOD. If it comes on cable in 10 years and there’s nothing else on, take a nap. It’s truly miserable.

If you want to laugh, watch the new Avengers movie. If you want to watch a great film, check-out “Ex Machina”. If you want to torture yourself, chase after “Hot Pursuit”.

Rating: .5 out of 5 stars

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