Freitag, 12. Juni 2015

Hot Pursuit

On paper, putting Gloria from "Modern Family" and the legally blonde Elle Woods in a female odd-couple action comedy sounds like a no-brainer. So it's disheartening, stupendous almost, to witness something as entirely inept and punchless as "Hot Pursuit".

Plenty of stuff happens in the movie, from the personality clash between an uptight cop (Witherspoon) and the sassy mafia trophy wife she's supposed to escort to safety (Vergara), their bumpy trip through various assassination attempts, all the way to the uncovering of police corruption and the development of supposed character arcs complete with backstories and a twist. Whether one can call all that plotting, though, is not clear. The whole thing, down to its very last detail, feels so blandly formulaic it might as well be regurgitated from the dozens of similarly-themed films we've had over the years.

The two leads, both accomplished comediennes, fare poorly on this thankless job. Vergara's natural charm and fiery persona come off gratingly shrill in a heavily caricatured role where she has trouble flaunting her curves while keeping up with the one-liners. Witherspoon, who has charisma and comedic timing to spare, seems curiously uncommitted to this performance. The blend of overzealous quirks and straight-faced goofiness she comes up with is so affected it misses every mark. Also just on a physical level, her posture and movements are never convincing as those of a dedicated policewoman. Even more damaging is perhaps the painfully obvious fact that these two women share zero on-screen chemistry from the get-go. Their comedies never gel, nor does their pairing click at any point, leaving us with so much loud, unfunny shtick it made a movie not even 90 minutes long a certifiably grueling sit.          

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