Film review: Hot Pursuit

Coldly in Pursuit of profits

Friday, 31st July 2015, 6:00 pm
Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon in Hot Pursuit
Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon in Hot Pursuit

The Hollywood dream factory exists for one reason: to make money. Lots of it.

Unfortunately for profit-fixated executives, audiences are discerning and unpredictable so when a filmmaker accidentally stumbles on a winning formula, competitors hurriedly churn out half-baked imitations in the hope lightning might strike twice or thrice.

In 2013, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy made a tidy box office profit in mismatched buddy cop comedy The Heat.

It sizzled thanks to a tight script, peppered with one-liners and visual gags, and the on-screen chemistry of the leads.

Two years on, up pops Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergain Hot Pursuit, a mismatched cop ‘n’ crook comedy that should be retitled The Tepid.

Writers David Feeney and John Quaintance offer up stereotypical female characters and target menstruation, designer heels, lingerie and faux lesbianism for cheap laughs.

We quickly realise, the entire enterprise is a giant boob.

Officer Rose Cooper (Witherspoon) is the laughing stock of San Antonio Police Department after an unfortunate incident with a taser gun.

Captain Emmett (John Carroll Lynch) offers a chance at redemption by accompanying Deputy US Marshal Jackson (Richard T Jones) to the home of Felipe Riva (Vincent Laresca), an informant, who has agreed to testify against drug kingpin Vincente Cortez (Joaquin Cosio). Needless to say...

Directed by Anne Fletcher without any sense of urgency, Hot Pursuit is a hot mess.

Occasional broad physical comedy warrants a chuckle, but is invariably followed by another poorly conceived and executed tumbleweed moment.

Witherspoon and Vergara are squandered, trading witless insults to little effect.