Hot Pursuit – Film Review

hot pursuit

Hot Pursuit – Film Review by C.K. MacNamara

Director: Anne Fletcher

Writer: David Feeney, John Quaintance

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, John Quaintance

Hot Pursuit is bad. It is horrific. It is a turgid mess bordering on offensive, not only from its flat on flat jokes, inept writing and horrendous acting, but it’s often bizarre portrayal of LGBT and minority groups.

Vomiting ‘humour’ as diverse as lesbian jokes and shooting teenagers with tazers, to saying the word “tampon” (teehee) Hot Pursuit is the unique tier of abhorrently bad that should mark a Director out as a black sheep to investors, who seemed to not have learned their lesson from Fletchers previous trainwrecks. Reese Witherspoon, an academy award winner and nominee, lethargically stumbles through her role, outdone in her poor performing only by her would be partner turned caricature Sofia Vergara.

This was not a film that should ever have been released in cinemas, stinking distinctly of a direct-to-TV Disney channel one-off. The plot transpires around Rose Cooper (Reese Witherspoon), a bumbling backroom cop with a legendary Officer father, finally given the chance to escape from the secretariat by escorting the wife of a Federal witness to court. Both the witness and her partner soon end up lead-filled and Rose finds herself framed and on the run alongside the wife Daniella (Sofia Vergara), trying to clear her name and safeguard her quarry so she can testify against a nondescript Cartel Leader. The interim consists mainly of pratfall cat fights, constant complaining, and awkward action all to the key of some of the worst directing in recent years. If the movie had embraced its stillborn script and ludicrous direction by introducing the fun goofiness of actors like Dwayne Johnson this may have been ironically bearable. Alas it has no such redeeming factors.

Indeed the only impressive feat this, for lack of a better word movie manages, is how many layers of bedrock in can spiral through, sneeringly attempting to mock everything from police brutality to LGBT groups on its descent.

Overall, this is an example of that rare type of film that burbles up from the ether, avoiding every redeeming quality and ‘so bad it’s funny’ safety net, to produce something that leaves audiences feeling less whole leaving the cinema than they did entering. Truly the current frontrunner for ‘Worst Film of the Year’ – about the only award anything orbiting this film deserves.


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