Thursday, 17 December 2015

Hot Pursuit (2015)





















OK so we all know the stereotypical buddy action flick, generally the stereotypical buddy action cop flick, laced with adult humour. Twas the staple diet of the good old days back in the 80's and through to the 90's, these days the genre has been a bit quiet. Why? well because every bloody idea has been done and the entire notion has literately been drained dry, all that is left is trying to come up with unique and quirky double teams for the leads. Although it must be said, the winner of that buddy cop action flick pairing must go to Jay Leno and Pat Morita in 'Collision Course' way back in 1989, nothing more unusual than that double team.

So for this run of the mill genre flick we have an all female double team consisting of Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, so kinda different in the fact its an all female affair, but the characters are all too familiar. Witherspoon plays the stiff, by the books, jobsworth cop Cooper, who is given the task of helping protect an informant against a powerful drug cartel boss, the usual thing. Naturally things go wrong as various henchmen turn up and kill the informant, leaving Cooper with the dead informants wife (Riva) played by Vergara. As you might have guessed Vergara plays a loud, spoilt, high maintenance Latino...so just like every other character she plays, earn that paycheck. Together the duo go on the run from the killers, one pair of killers being unknown initially, another being cartel men.

This is one of the films clever twists, of course I'm being sarcastic here but nevertheless. Spoiler alert, one team of killers turns out to be cops that Cooper knows, dirty cops, although in all honesty, I'm not actually sure why they wanted to kill the informant and Riva. I'm guessing they either work for some other cartel or they were after the suitcase full of jewel encrusted high heels that Riva is lugging around (worth around 4 million). I'm pretty sure its not actually mentioned, could be wrong though, chances are I simply wasn't paying attention because who cares. The other killer duo are indeed cartel men, but they actually work for Riva who is planning to kill the big cartel boss in revenge for killing her brother. Man this movie is so damn clever with its little twists, pure ingenuity, oh yeah I forgot...spoiler alert!! (if you care).


















So the main crux of the film (aside from the big shock reveals) is the chase, the thrill of watching Witherspoon and Vergara running from the law and the cartel and ending up in all manner of hilarious situations. Yeah its sure as hell funny to see the straight laced cop trying to control a brash, wild, big chested Latino in high heels, as they try to evade capture and gunfire. Obviously its not, and obviously I'm being highly flippant. If you're after any sort of excitement or action then look elsewhere because this has nothing, absolutely zero. There is the odd car chase which is clearly going very slowly, a little bit of gunfire but highly neutered, no profanity or adult jokes, no visual gags, and no tension or engaging thrills of any kind anywhere. The whole movie is almost virtually made up of pathetic quibbling between Witherspoon and Vergara that is obviously meant to be funny, they are clearly trying to be funny, but its awkwardly not, its just bad. The dialog is badly written and thusly performed badly by the cast, not entirely the casts fault of course but it helps if you actually cast funny people in the first place.

Seriously, one of the movies main gags is suppose to be a flashback to Cooper accidentally tasering a young male teen, the teen in question being the mayor's son. The kid is with a group of friends and yells out 'shotgun' (as in the front seat of a car I think it was), and of course Cooper zaps him. The problem being the tasering causes him to spill his alcoholic drink on himself which then catches alight, so he's now on fire, and this is supposed to be a funny flashback?! Other characters in the film find this hilarious, but...it kinda isn't really. If something like this happened in reality can you imagine the furore that would fire up! Jesus! plus...its just not a particularly funny flashback, just seems kinda serious to me.

Sure Witherspoon looks the part of an annoyingly overly keen cop, but she just isn't funny, her deliveries aren't funny, her physical humour doesn't work on any level. On the flip side Vergara is better at comedy with more experience from TV but her shrilly Latino persona is grating, annoying, it grows tiresome. Sure when she was first discovered it was funny, it was a stereotype that everybody knew but it was portrayed well by Vergara, it was her little thing, her main skill, something that could be milked for awhile. But alas, much like Vinnie Jones and his cockney hardman persona, it has been milked to death and is no longer entertaining, its boring. Vergara and her whole fiery Latino stereotype is now old hat, we get plenty of it weekly with Modern Family so there is no need for more of it in movies, especially when its all exactly the bloody same.

So obviously this comedy is aimed at a female audience and blokes that fancy Vergara, presumably. Its the most light-hearted pile of crapola I've seen for some time, extra light on action, thrills n spills and actual comedy that's for sure. If you enjoy tame jokes about a ladies age, her height, her attire, her looks and watching Vergara stagger around awkwardly in her high heels, then I guess this is for you. Yes I know Vergara staggering around in high heels is supposed to be part of the joke with her character, but I also know she loves high heels in reality so I wouldn't be surprised that she insisted on wearing them. Either that or its just a very very lame and unimaginative joke, pretty much like this entire movie, a very poor, bland, weak effort indeed.

2/10