Two out of Five kernels
“Hot Pursuit” looks like an innocent comedy, but a closer look at the evidence reveals something criminal.
“Pursuit” is in the same vein of comedy as “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” meaning that everything that can go wrong — no matter how nonsensical it is — will. However, there has to be enough sense that the audience can buy into the absurdity. “Hot Pursuit” does not give the audience that much, from start to finish.
Officer Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) is sent to protect Daniella Rivera (Sofia Vergara) so she can testify against Vicente Cortez (Joaquin Cosio). However, gunmen show up at her house and after a series of other long and complicated actions, they are on their own without cellphones.
Let me repeat that, a police officer and a protected witness end up alone with no help or backup without cellphones — in 2015.
The premise of the film is a hard pill to swallow, and it doesn’t get easier. Although a few good bits pop up here and there, most of it is loud name calling and slapstick. It’s hardly enough to sustain a film, which is clear by the 87-minute running time.
The leading ladies try their best, and their characters certainly work in the classic odd-couple sense: the tight-laced rule-follower versus the flamboyant flirt. Too bad it’s a pairing that is all too common.
The characters are almost too good at convincing us of their standard profiles. When it comes to Cooper or Rivera trying to tell each other that they are smart, misunderstood or being judged too harshly, what they say and what they do is completely different. Aside from a couple moments from Cooper and a few from Rivera, their actions show that they are exactly who the other thinks.
It’s a shame that actresses who have proven their comedic prowess in other films and TV shows aren’t given the chance to do so here. Whether it’s the lackluster jokes or the stereotypical characters, the culprit is the usual suspect: the script.
If you enjoy comedies with incomprehensible yelling and with characters handcuffed together, and most everything making zero sense, then you might like “Hot Pursuit.” But you might not like spending the money to go to a movie that doesn’t even last an hour and a half.
For me, the case is closed and “Hot Pursuit” is guilty of crimes against comedy.