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Movie Review: “Hot Pursuit” is a Hot Mess that Fails in Every Aspect

Not even the Oscar-winning lead actress can save this pathetic excuse for a comedy.

I’m not really sure why Reese Witherspoon signed on to this film. She certainly doesn’t need the work, and the movie is slightly beneath her. But I guess she felt after her captivating performance in Wild, she would just do a flick that requires much less thought and effort.

Hot Pursuit might as well be this year’s Tammy; a lazy, predictable, disaster road trip comedy that manages to have everything go wrong up until it’s final destination. We’ve seen this formula many times. For the most part, films like these never have any real substance, and the slapstick comedy fails to produce any real laughs. The exceptions are a few rare gems like Dumb and Dumber, Overnight Delivery, and Road Trip (Personal favorites).

In Hot Pursuit Reese Witherspoon plays, Cooper, an uptight, by-the-book cop who is stuck working in the evidence room. She has no life and no boyfriend. She’s too intense and scares guys off. But things start looking up for Cooper, when her boss assigns her to protect a newly widowed drug dealer’s wife, Daniella (Sofia Vergara). She must get Daniella safely to Dallas so that she may testify against a murderous drug lord. Of course, what should be a simple task turns into a road trip from hell. As they race through Texas, they are chased by dirty cops and vicious gunmen. They never seem to catch a break. And in a twisted turn of events, they suddenly become two wanted fugitives.

Oh and if you were concerned about Officer Cooper’s love life, don’t be. She runs into a random man (Robert Kazinsky) who’s had trouble with the law himself, and what do you know? He likes how intense she is. It’s a forced romance that lacks chemistry, intrigue, and in all honesty is completely forgettable.

I wish I could say Hot Pursuit was at least funny at times, but the film uses recycled shticks that are poorly executed. The story-line and jokes have no originality, and I could care less about these characters. That might be the most frustrating aspect of the film. Cooper and Daniella never seem to connect with each other, nor do they “make a good team.” A redeeming factor in a comedy that begins with two people hating each other is the end result of them finally caring for one another. Unfortunately, throughout their journey, Cooper and Daniella never have a genuine moment where the audience can believe that these two would become “real” friends.

Hot Pursuit might as well not even be on your radar this weekend. There are plenty of other great films out that provide a much better source of entertainment. Just go see Avengers: Age of Ultron, or Ex Mchina, or literally anything else.

Rating: 1.5/5

Hot Pursuit open in theaters May 8.