Hot Pursuit

 

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Reese Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara team up for an embarrassing farce.

 
Hot Pursuit

 

In itself, farce doesn’t need to be bad – or even mirthless. The art is to subvert audience expectations to comic effect. However, Anne Fletcher’s Hot Pursuit is so broad and brainless that the audience – should they decide to accept it – is not only always one step ahead but repeatedly insulted.

 

Reese Witherspoon plays the pint-sized, protocol-obsessed Officer Rose Cooper, the daughter of a Texas cop who gets the chance to prove herself in the field. Her mission is to escort the wife of a mob boss to Dallas on a witness protection initiative. But as we’re in chalk’n’cheese territory here, Cooper’s ward is the strident, motor-mouthed, bling-clad Latino princess Daniella Riva, played by Sofía Vergara.

 

Both Witherspoon and Vergara share producing duties and presumably were hoping to appeal to the same audience that lapped up the personality shifts supplied by Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat, a veritable box-office hit. However, Hot Pursuit plummets to a number of new nadirs of daftness, not least when Reese and Sofía disguise themselves as a deer to deceive a patrolman. It really is that dumb – a predicament that Christophe Beck’s silly, twangy guitar-driven score can do nothing but exacerbate. Having said that, one should really stay until the end of the opening credits.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Sofía Vergara, Robert Kazinsky, Matthew Del Negro, Michael Mosley, Richard T. Jones, John Carroll Lynch, Vincent Laresca.

 

Dir Anne Fletcher, Pro Dana Fox, Bruna Papandrea and Reese Witherspoon, Ex Pro Sofía Vergara, Screenplay David Feeney and John Quaintance, Ph Oliver Stapleton, Pro Des Nelson Coates, Ed Priscilla Nedd-Friendly, Music Christophe Beck, Costumes Catherine Marie Thomas.

 

New Line Cinema/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Pacific Standard-Warner Brothers.

87 mins. USA. 2015. Rel: 31 July 2015. Cert. 12A.