Release Date: May 8, 2015
Director: Anne Fletcher
Writer: David Feeney, John Quaintance
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Matthew Del Negro, Michael Mosely, Robert Kazinsky, Richard T. Jones, Benny Nieves, Michael Ray Escamilla, Joaquin Cosio, John Carroll Lynch, Jim Gaffigan, Mike Birbiglia, Vincent Laresca, David Jensen, Evaluna Montaner
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 87 minutes
Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), New Line Cinema, Pacific Standard, Warner Bros., Warner Bros.
Genre: Action, Comedy
You do not want to see your favorite actress play a serious significant role all the time. From time to time, you may want something a little different and outside the box. I’m very fond of my serious dramatic stories, and more in love with my goofy comedies. Reese Witherspoon isn’t my favorite actress by far, but she definitely has my respect and attention when she’s the protagonist in a film. I would defend her last six films proudly, and would say that her role was marvelous. So seeing her in a silly comedy grabbed my attention, though it’s extremely disturbing how things turned out. This role doesn’t fit her previous work in the slightest. No one can tell what the final product would be in a film until it’s done, but I expect Witherspoon to have some estimation of what the final product would be. I expect this from the somewhat still up-and-coming Sofia Vergara, but it seems Witherspoon lost a bet, and performing in this film was the only way to avoid possible jail time.
Starting with the characters, they are trash and unrealistic! I don’t mind laughing at caricatures, but only if they fit within the context of the film. Cooper (Witherspoon) is an exaggerated by-the-book tight ass who can’t tell the difference between diamonds and broken glass, and Daniella Riva (Vergara) is the rebooted reimagined apprentice of Fran Drescher on steroids. While some may disagree, I consider Vergara’s natural accent a breath of fresh air, but when it’s used as a tool to drive a character it’s as annoying as nails on a chalk board. She’s more than that vocally and on stage. Using it in the manner it was used in the film is annoying and rude to the audience. There’s nothing but constant nagging and whining with no promise of necessity, so half of the screen time is given to a character with no weight and a repulsive voice. Cooper has three times the field experience as her colleagues, but doesn’t use it and sits behind a desk. She scares men away to a point where they’re literally running for their lives, but she doesn’t have a clue even if it was spoon fed by the world champion of Operation. The fact that she’s so willfully dense with her personality traits brings on a migraine. It’s commendable to have a character that likes to follow rules, but in life or death situations, winging it is the best way to go. We never see her character abide by this personality trait known as common sense, but we are forced to side with her for 87 minutes.
As far as the plot is concerned, I will give a little credit for throwing in a wrench in its beginning to throw the audience off on who the villain is. It ultimately goes nowhere in an anti-climactic showdown begging for excitement. Cooper and Daniella are trying to escape imminent death, but it doesn’t appear to be. Scene after scene they are drawing more attention to themselves, or the film has several technical errors. I zoned out of the film when Cooper continued to swerve her steering wheel dead center of the screen, yet her car stayed straight. In this scene, Witherspoon was overacting, and it was her idiotic choice of a character that accomplished this. Daniella, on the other hand, considered her bag of shoes more important than being alive the next day. She just totes it around in the middle of gunfire and we’re supposed to buy all of this. It had value in the end, but you realize through its clever disguise that leaving it in the closet to come back later would’ve sufficed. It’s hard to care about the plot, because you don’t about the characters. Especially when their attempts of avoiding suspicion are replaced by loud acts of fabricated lesbian behavior. Which aren’t funny, by the way.
Speaking of funny, aren’t comedies supposed to be funny? Isn’t that the primary objective of this genre? Call me crazy, but a lot of are things that are funny are things that are true. This is because we can relate, and sympathize with what’s going on. There were a few moments when I chuckled, but that was most likely by accident. The jokes aren’t funny, but sad due to their feeble attempt at humor. They’re forced, out of place, and insulting. You’re not laughing with the characters, but at them. That may be the goal for you and if so, that’s great. I was looking for something with more substance and layers from the comedic realm. Not dressing up like Justin Bieber.
This clearly wasn’t for me. This was possibly the worst ensemble I’ve seen in a while and a complete waste of time and energy. It’s unfortunate, because I’ve seen a majority of the cast do better work. I’m not sure what the goal here was. To make a lasting cult following to a little comedy, or a random attempt of cash grabbing that may leave someone fired after the box office numbers are released. Films like this frustrate me, because the get in the way of true art that makes people happy instead of making them cry. ‘Hot Pursuit’ is a cheap, ridiculous, embarrassing mess that only delivers a few laughs in desperate moments.