Move on, nothing to pursue here

Move on, nothing to pursue here
Hot Pursuit
English (A)  Director: Anne Fletcher
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara

Here’s a storyline as hackneyed as Hollywood gets: Socially incompatible and physically diverse cop-and-fugitive/ witness drama, with the differences played up. Only this time, the gender of the two protagonists is added to the mix, but to little effect.

Director Anne Fletcher (“Step Up”, “27 Dresses”, “The Proposal” and “The Guilt Trip”) had two good actors to work with, and each was given a role that would play up their strengths. People from a generation or so ago still swoon over the southern charm of Reese Witherspoon's Melanie Carmichael/ Smooter from “Sweet Home Alabama”, while Sofia Vergara transcends generational boundaries to appeal to fans as Gloria, the Latina wife of a much older man on multi-Emmy-winning sitcom “Modern Family”.

However, both seem a shadow of these roles — Witherspoon more so — as extremely-by-the-book cop Rose Cooper trying to protect Daniella Rive, the widow of a man slated to testify against and bring down a notorious drug lord.

Witherspoon tries to oscillate between bubbly and neurotic as a law-enforcement officer, but the range is badly mangled. Vergara is somewhat of a saving grace in an otherwise disappointing film, but the “loco chica” personality is only just there, and that too not all the time.

Add to that a story so boring, predictable and illogical that it puts Indian potboilers to shame, and you know why barely 85 minutes of “Hot Pursuit” seem longer than a William Wyler or Ashutosh Gowarikar epic. Also, let's not get started on the verbal and visual imageries that are passed of as jokes: They range from as painful as a root canal to as cheesier than some of the most calorific pizzas in the world.

In the end, “Hot Pursuit” is never a thing to pursue, let alone hotly so. It is a stale tale, best reserved for the worst of the “chick flick” marathons.

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