Daily Egyptian

‘Hot Pursuit’ is hot garbage

The most awkward moviegoing experience has to be watching an unfunny comedy.

What should be one of the happiest events, turns into an almost two hour nightmare spent looking at your phone, thinking about what you are going to do after the movie is over.

“Hot Pursuit” (Rated PG-13; 87 min) directed by Anne Fletcher, could possibly be the least funny comedy of 2015 and the darkest stain on Reese Witherspoon’s and Sofia Vergara’s careers.

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Cooper, played by Witherspoon, has always wanted to be a cop and seems like the perfect fit, as her father is the best officer on the force. But, after an incident with a couple of partying teens she is forced to work in the evidence area of the department.  

A few years later, an opportunity arises for Cooper. A low-level drug dealer and his wife, played by Vergara, plan to turn in a Mexican drug kingpin and Cooper must accompany and protect them.  

A gunfight occurs, and Cooper is left defending the now widowed wife. The two battle their way through dirty cops, assassins and personal insecurities to take down the kingpin.

“Hot Pursuit” is awful. The movie is unfunny, poorly scripted and poorly directed. What could have been the female equivalent to “48 Hours” or “Midnight Run” turns into a poor imitation of the “The Heat.”

The most depressing part is that there are very few female leads in the film industry. I can count on one hand the amount of woman-driven comedies, action movies or any other genre film this year.

A movie like “Hot Pursuit” is fodder for ignorance, for big studio executives who say a female lead in a movie will not work.

The biggest problem is flimsy characterizations. Instead of having genuine character motivation or personality-driven traits, Cooper and virtually every other person are stereotypes or one-note jokes.

Cooper has so much going for her as a character. She is the daughter of cop going into the same line of work, career driven and unable to connect with anyone, all while fighting sexism and other prejudices.

Unfortunately, those are the same characteristics of Sandra Bullock’s character in “The Heat.”

While that movie makes use of the potential in the persona, this movie makes it out to be a joke. Cooper is supposed to be good at her job, and should be, but fails at every turn.

“Hot Pursuit” also has a huge miscasting problem. Vergara performs wonderfully in an ensemble cast like “Modern Family,” but fails when she has to lead a film.

Her character is supposed to be the sassier one of the duo while Witherspoon forwards the plot. Neither Vergara nor the writing for her character makes her interesting, compelling or funny.

All of her jokes and their deliveries fall flat. And when an actual dynamic aspect is proposed, it comes out of nowhere and feels more jarring than interesting.

The actual humor of this comedy fails constantly. If you are one of the unlucky ones seeing this in theatres, you will hear cliché crickets before you hear laughter.

Stars: 1.5 out of 5.

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