Thursday, May 7, 2015

Hot Pursuit

Rose (Reese Witherspoon) is an uptight cop who takes her job seriously, too seriously in fact that she does not have even a semblance of a personal life. Her reputation has also suffered a serious blow no thanks to a tasing incident with the mayor’s son. When a delicate operation involving Felipe Riva, a Mexican cartel informant, requires the force to find someone to escort and protect his wife Daniella (Sofia Vergara), Cooper sees this as an opportunity to redeem herself. The two immediately dislike each other the moment they meet, but are left without a choice but to stick together when things go really bad, what with the many enemies and secret friends following these drug smugglers left and right. The mission is to make it alive to Dallas, except that Mrs. Riva has some important secrets up her sleeves that might just endanger both their lives.

This movie is such a letdown, even more so when you think about this comedic pair up that seems epic on paper. But what the heck happened to the execution? The entire movie is like a bad spoof of Paul Feig’s The Heat, and that movie was not even entertaining. It's as if Witherspoon and Vergara came up with the brilliant idea one boring night, then just decided to rip off Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy when they started filming. That is a disappointment because Witherspoon and Vergara ARE both funny, but not in this film.

Instead, we get bombarded with jokes which get old really fast. The duo are attacked ad nauseam about their height and their age. At first, it was funny, but having to hear it more than three times in a span of two hours borders on desperate. Perhaps they were covering up the weakness of the script? Vergara only has to open her mouth and try to pronounce something in English to be hilarious. In this movie, it works during the first half an hour or so, and then everything falls flat. Witherspoon tries to give Sandra Bullock, a veteran in this type of comedy chick flick, a run for her money but fails miserably.

Yes, there are some funny moments, but that is the problem. There are only SOME of them. The entire screenplay relies heavily on too much shouting between the two leads as a bad excuse for comedic banter. Witherspoon also tries her best to be cute by butchering the Spanish language, but it does not work either. In the end, laughter in the theater was scarce, except for a handful of LOL moments which relied more on delivery rather than wit or substance.

The twist involving Daniella in the second half is a welcome development and brings up your hopes that maybe this peculiarity in the storyline would help turn things around. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Instead, they opt for convenience and take the predictable route as an easy way out. In terms of character development, Rose wins, but after being subjected to almost two hours of bland humor, you just wouldn’t care less anymore. There is a reason why this film bombed in the box office, and I really think that the script is to blame. Besides, two comedic geniuses could only do so much in the face of a bad screenplay.

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