DIR: Anne Fletcher • WRI: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen • PRO: Jonas Rivera • ED: Kevin Nolting • MUS: Michael Giacchino • DES: Ralph Eggleston • CAST: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Matthew Del Negro, Michael Mosley
Imagine a buddy cop film…but with girls! Girls, who do silly girl-things like run in high-heels, use their sexuality to get out of sticky situations, and menstruate (ew, gross! Ha-ha!). Then, boy, do I got the film for you! Because that’s all Hot Pursuit is – a concept stretched so thin, the river of potential jokes is run dry within the first five minutes of the film. This is especially disappointing when taken into consideration that its two female stars were also the film’s producers. What the audience is left with is a dull and uninspired would-be comedy that makes one lovingly recall Melissa McCarthy’s and Sandra Bullock’s 2013 venture The Heat which, though by no means perfect, was thoroughly enjoyable.
The way-better-than-this Witherspoon plays Officer Rose Cooper, a straight-laced cop eager to prove herself in the field after a number of previous mishaps. Her big opportunity for redemption comes in the form of Daniella Riva (played by Vergara playing Gloria from Modern Family), who is on the run after agreeing to give evidence against a notorious drug lord. Antics ensue. Not much else can be said for the films plot, which often sees events randomly occur without any context. Sloppy editing also adds greatly to the uneven tone of the film. The characters go from one location to the next with little to no explanation. All sense of tension is lost by the uninterested way in which director Anne Fletcher handles the more serious scenes of the film. Combine this with some pretty unthreatening villains and the film just judders along before finally creaking to its lacklustre climax. Ditto for character development. Emotional reveals prove to be less explosive so much as blips on this seemingly never-ending journey of mediocrity. Our two protagonists are little more than stereotypes, proving it difficult to engage with the film on any meaningful level.
Female team-ups in mainstream cinema are too rare an occurrence for films like Hot Pursuit to muddy the chances of audiences being interested in seeing more of them. Hollywood is in dire need of more genre-bending, women-focused material, but Hot Pursuit just serves up a cold dish of disappointment.
12A (See IFCO for details)