Sunday, August 16, 2015

Video review: "Hot Pursuit"

A screechy, overtly “broad” comedy -- in both senses of that word -- “Hot Pursuit” did a grave disservice to buddy cop movies. And films starring women. And female directors. And… well, pretty much everything involving law enforcement, women or cinema.

An unimaginative amalgamation of “Midnight Express” and “The Heat,” “Hot Pursuit” teams up Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara as a cop and fugitive on the lam. The bad guys are after them, the good guys are after them, some of the good guys might actually be bad guys -- you get the picture. They spar, they kvetch, they bond, they double-cross, they re-bond, etc.

They’re each playing caricatures close to their star personas: Cooper (Witherspoon) is a pint-sized officer with a Southern-fried accent and a penchant for falling into hyper, rambling snits. Daniella Riva (Vergara) is the wife of a Colombian drug lord who flaunts her bountiful natural assets, working that whole excitable Latina thing to the nth degree.

Somewhere, Charo is filing suit for identity theft.

Director Anne Fletcher (“The Proposal”) keeps things moving at a breakneck pace, so the jokes that thud -- there are many -- don’t lay there too long. Screenwriters David Feeney and John Quaintance are television veterans, and their slavish devotion to the setup/punchline rhythm is absolute.

Cheesy, unfunny, braying and, in its own way, deeply misogynistic, “Hot Pursuit” is the commanding front-runner for worst movie of the year award.

Extras are short and sour. The DVD comes with one featurette, “The Womance,” focusing on on-set mugging by Witherspoon and Vergara. On the Blu-ray combo pack, you also get “Say What?” -- devoted to the stars’ English/Spanish mangling – and “Action Like A Lady,” a look at creating the action scenes.



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