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HOT PURSUIT

SYNOPSIS: Cooper (Reece Witherspoon), an uptight and by-the-book cop is given an important assignment to protect Daniella (Sofia Vegara), the wife of a drug boss, who is due to give evidence against a cartel leader. But crooked cops and murderous gunmen have other ideas and Cooper struggles to keep Daniella safe until the trial in Dallas.

Review by Louise Keller:
Thank goodness for sassy Sofia Vergara, whose chaotic former Colombian beauty queen and drug lord's widow is not only gorgeous to look at, but is a riot every second she is on screen. Her decorative comedic turn makes this inane comedy almost bearable. Diminutive Reece Witherspoon gets the rough end of the stick, playing a hyperactive, uptight cop who wears diaper-like underwear and follows protocol as though it were a religion. As one of the producers, Witherspoon might have had more sense than to partake this questionably scripted film, sporting a southern drawl and a series of stupid expressions.

Zany and off the wall humour can be fun, but Anne Fletcher milks the lame material by David Feeney and John Quaintance until it withers. Cringe-worthy include the embarrassing scenes when the girls pretend to be lesbians and in which a clinical rundown on menstruation is delivered. The running gag about Vergara's ever-increasing age and Witherspoon's ever-decreasing height is worth a chuckle and the ever-present suitcase of sparkling stilettos being carted around is a funny idea well executed.

After the initial set up in which we learn that Cooper (Witherspoon) has always wanted to follow in her policeman father's footsteps but is the laughing stock of the force due to a recent mishap, the action moves to the drug lord's plush pad where the gunfire starts from two sets of armed intruders. When the girls jump into a sleek 1968 red Cadillac convertible, it seems as though the relationship between Cooper and Vergara's Daniella might turn into something with legs, but it never heads anywhere beyond farce; Daniella teeters on high heels, changing from a skin-tight white dress into a black, low-cut cowboy outfit, whereas Cooper sheds her unflattering police gear for an unflattering little red dress.

Most of the scenes end up as poor slapstick with little imagination - like when the girls try to scramble through a high bathroom window. The scene in which the bus of senior citizens delight in the thrill of the chase when corrupt cops start shooting at them is a thumb-twiddle and Witherspoon in drag as a Justin Bieber type is embarassing. I didn't mind the introduction of Witherspoon's unlikely love interest Randy (Robert Kazinsky) who happens to dig intense women, but it's only the stunning Vergara who in part keeps us interested.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

HOT PURSUIT (M)
(US, 2015)

CAST: Reece Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Matthew Del Negro

PRODUCER: Dana Fox, Bruna Papandrea, Reece Witherspoon

DIRECTOR: Anne Fletcher

SCRIPT: David Feeney, John Quaintance

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Oliver Stapleton

EDITOR: Priscilla Nedd-Friendly

MUSIC: Not credited

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Nelson Coates

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 11, 2015







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