So I watched Hot Pursuit…
When I saw the trailer to this movie, I had an interesting question start circling in my mind: should Reese Witherspoon still be making movies? My immediate answer was no; because I think she’s had her time, she’s won her Oscar and, honestly, I think she’s past her best. I actually just went to watch this movie because I love movies and I believe that any movie has the potential to be an unexpected thrill. On the flip side of that, any movie can be a complete and utter let down, Hot Pursuit falls right in the middle of those two extremes.
Okay, basic plot: Reese Witherspoon is a straight-laced, somewhat overeager cop who has to transport Daniella Riva, a smart talking Colombian (who reminds me a lot of Gloria from Modern Family, don’t know why) to a hearing to testify against a major druglord. Do I even need to go on with this synopsis? You’ve seen this plot a million times. The two leads don’t get along, the plans to go to the hearing go awry, comedy ensues or at least is supposed to.
You know what, I actually liked this movie. I know critics are slamming it but I don’t think it’s a horrible movie. I actually think it’s average. It doesn’t try to do anything groundbreaking, it doesn’t leave you feeling too disappointed, it just is. The main problem I had with this movie is, actually the same problem I had with Paul Blart 2, it came out ten years too late. This movie feels dated, the comedy is stale and I kept thinking to myself, ‘wow, that joke would have killed in 2002’. It isn’t the references or anything time-specific in the movie that make it feel dated but rather the style of the comedy. It’s filled with gags we’ve seen too many times over the years for them to still be funny now.
The dialogue isn’t sharp and witty, Witherspoon and Vergara have chemistry at times but never really reach any consistency. I’ve watched this kind of movie a million times so I could predict exactly how their relationship was going to end up but just because I can see it coming doesn’t mean the actors are allowed to be lazy and not properly develop the chemistry between them.
Speaking of the acting, it’s incredibly bland. Sofia Vergara’s ‘screamy spanglish’, which I barely tolerate on Modern Family, reaches new heights of annoyance in this movie. I enjoy her performance so much more when she speaks in the hushed tone she reserves for threatening people. She needs to do that more, not threaten people, just tone all the yelling and over-acting down. At the beginning of the post, I said I don’t think Witherspoon should continue making movies but her performance in this movie has turned that ‘no’ into a ‘meh’. I still maintain that she’s past her best but she wasn’t horrible to watch in this movie.
I actually laughed a lot more than I expected in this movie. The majority of the humour isn’t smart but it is still fun at times. The movie gets really funny at the end, there’s also a real step up in the quality of the story but unfortunately it’s short-lived and can’t fully redeem the comedic dullness that comes before it.
Overall, this movie isn’t great but it isn’t horrible either. It’s instantly forgettable, in fact, I watched it a few days ago and haven’t thought about it till I started writing this review. It’s not worth a trip to the cinema but it’s worth watching if you’re bored and there’s nothing else on tv. 6/10