Hot Pursuit (2015)

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What could have been a good platform to highlight the power of women in film and utilise on an odd couple pair up, this film kicks that to the curb and instead uses slapstick, predictability and general minimal laughs to stitch a half-arsed film together.

Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) grows up adoring her cop father and getting acclimatized to police activity, so it’s no surprise she becomes a member of the force though little more than a glorified secretary Cooper lands her big chance when escorting a witness’ wife to Dallas. Danielle Riva (Sofia Vergara) is a challenge for Cooper though and getting her safely to the courthouse becomes fraught with hurdles.

Let’s just put it out there from the get go, this film isn’t awful, stinking or rotten. It’s watchable and that’s perhaps as good as it can get. It never made me laugh out loud or even chuckle that much, perhaps apart from the running gag of their ages/height or the women’s problems scenario in the back of a cop car but these are hardly genius breakthroughs in comedy. It’s a weak script to start with, all these sort of testifying/police/criminal chase movies are obvious and the ‘twists’ in the film don’t really feel as such.

Anne Fletcher directs as most buddy road trip movies look, it’s not stylish but generic. So it might not stand out but it at least looks like the genre of film it is. It could have had more flair, the action moments could have been stepped up and that seriously may have helped the film out a tad. I think I’m let down with Fletcher because I’ve found out she’s on course to direct ‘Enchanted 2’ and after this and her other films I’m worried because I do love the first ‘Enchanted’!

There aren’t many ballsy moments or engaging sequences, a love interest is thrown into the mix about two thirds of the way in and a final stand off is as for from being tense as Mickey Mouse jollily whistling on his steamboat. Unless you find that old cartoon tense then please forgive me. I never saw ‘The Heat’ but from friends and reviews it seemed that it was a film that got the female dynamics right, got action and comedy in perfect unison and now I want to watch it just to see how a good police odd couple style movie should be.

Reese Witherspoon bombs from brave and broken in ‘Wild’ to this slack jawed yokel routine as obsessive police woman Cooper. From quoting police codes to failing hard at her job she plays the role well with that Texas twang aiding some resemblance of humour but it’s a poor character with nothing to get her talented teeth into. Sofia Vergara is a genuinely funny lady but is shafted with more of her expected screechy materialistic fodder becoming Gloria 2.0 in this story. Even where her arc goes cannot save Vergara from the pigeonhole she’s become wedged in.

It’s not truly an odd couple movie because Cooper and Danielle don’t hold any chemistry, it appears blandly right at the end of the movie and can’t save the flatness we’ve already witnessed. A quick pace is what keeps the film ticking along nicely but sadly it’s maybe a film that shouldn’t be ticking along at all.

3.5/10

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