Uncreative. So we have an uptight cop with something to prove (Reese Witherspoon). When she gets tasked with escorting the spicy wife of a confidential informant (Sofía Vergara), things naturally go awry. What kind of antics and misadventures will they get into? I don’t know how much you pay attention to actors and their respective careers, but talented actors have this weird tendency to do an Oscar caliber movie that gets a nomination or even a win, then turn around and follow it up with an outrageously bad movie. Eddie Murphy did it with Dreamgirls and Norbit, Eddie Redmayne did it with The Theory of Everything and Jupiter Ascending, and now Reese Witherspoon has followed Wild with Hot Pursuit.
After The Heat seriously overachieved at the box office, it’s not difficult to see why this project got green lit. While I don’t quite hate Hot Pursuit as much as that painful mess, it’s awfully close in terms of quality. You have these caricatures that aren’t given anything humorous to do, and the dialogue that these characters have don’t really have any jokes contained within them, which would be fine if this movie existed in any genre out there other than comedy. It’s just a lot of bad stereotypes, grating accents and an abundance of menstruation and handcuff jokes (seriously, I have never seen a movie get as much mileage out of handcuffs as this one here).
Added to the mix is the fact that this has no surprises, and it is completely predictable. It’s the standard straight man/funny man combo, but the only thing Vergara does is rant, rail and scream in a high pitch, and it gets really old, really fast. There’s no chemistry, it’s the same note over and over again: this cop who is out of her element, not acting like a real person, and this Hispanic lady loudly commenting on how her friend is out of her element. Nobody here is likable, and by the time the third act to this is getting going, you’re ready for it to be over, even at a modest 87-minute runtime. This may not be the muck at the absolute bottom of the comedy barrel, but it certainly is the thick liquid right above it.
Hot Pursuit (2015) *1/2
– Critic for Hire