There are many reasons to root for Hot Pursuit to be good. It’s produced by Reese Witherspoon’s female-driven production company, Pacific Standard. It features two strong female performers front and centre (Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara) and it has a woman in the directors chair. There’s even the added bonus of it being developed specifically for Vergara in an attempt to counteract the lack of leading Hispanic women in film. Hot Pursuit had so much going for it on paper, and then the filmmakers gave up.
The opening of the film shows a charming montage of Witherspoon’s Cooper as she grows up accompanying her police officer father to work in the back of his patrol car. After this, it’s all downhill–or it would be if there was anything to grab on to. Instead, the story of by book cop Cooper charged with escorting a drug lord’s wife (Vergara) to testify against a big mob boss is impressive in its ability to give us so much terrible and borderline offensive content, while also inspiring nothing by apathy. The list of crimes the film commits ranges from no sense of humour to full-on misogyny, but worst of all, there’s a complete and utter lack of attention from all involved. In fact, there are so many infractions committed by Hot Pursuit, the film deserves its own police report and trial.
THE CHARGES as follows:
- One count of a nonsensical script and multiple counts of useless plot points.
- One count of a half-baked character.
- One count of a good character poorly executed.
- Countless counts of absolutely no chemistry between Vergara and Witherspoon.
- Multiple counts of giving Vergara nothing to do but shriek. Although, I’ll give some credit for the five minutes of screen time that allowed her to show some dramatic chops.
- No less than three period jokes. Seriously, are we not past this?
- One count of using a woman’s period to disgust and horrify men. Are there still grown men that have no idea about menstruation?
- One count of the dumbest dress ever.
- Four counts of excessive cleavage and multiple counts of using said cleavage to con men into giving the characters what they want.
- One count of an unnecessary attempt at comedic lesbian erotica/humour. Must every comedy with two female leads involve them making out?
- At least five, possibly more, jokes about Cooper looking like a boy. Including one that is integral to the plot.
- Several counts of betrayal everyone saw coming. Or maybe they didn’t. No one really cares either way. Not even the characters being betrayed.
PLEASE NOTE: the film does centre entirely on female characters and there is an almost complete absence of men in any capacity. So we can acknowledge that.
There is enough horrible content in this film that I should have at the very least been annoyed and probably angry, but in the end, the content of Hot Pursuit really doesn’t matter. I want to hate this film, but it is so unbelievably apathetic and lazy that it’s difficult to muster up any kind of emotion at all. The filmmakers clearly did not care about their product, so why should anyone bother to muster up the energy to hate it?
Hot Pursuit is too lazy to be bad. All it inspires is indifference.
Image via Warner Brothers.