Hot Pursuit

“I have this sorta rule about movies and trailers. I may have explained this before. As much as I can help it, I try not to seek out trailers online. Reason being that since I go to so many movies, I catch most of them before the feature. Unless I’m really crazy excited about seeing it (read: it involves someone like Tarantino or Eli Roth or it’s a new addition to the Marvel Comics Universe), I can usually wait until I inevitably see it over and over and over again in the coming weeks. If we’re getting close to the release date and the trailer still hasn’t been shown in theaters, well that tells me something there. It often means that the studio doesn’t have enough faith in the film to heavily market it, which indicates the quality. Or it doesn’t jive with my typical movie choices (since to some extent previews tend to be targeted) and that indicates I may not like it. What usually happens for me then is if I’ve got other prospects for it’s opening weekend, and there’s nothing that has sold me on it just on paper, then I’ll skip it. If that’s pretty much my only choice, then I’ll YouTube the trailer.

With Hot Pursuit, I’d heard about the pairing of Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara months ago, but it was otherwise crickets. The occasional mention in a summer movie preview article, but not much else. That didn’t bode too well. However, given the current state of women in films, it was important to me to support this. I looked up the trailer and wasn’t too impressed. I then started catching it during DWTS commercials in the last couple weeks (which makes sense since ABC is also home to Vergara’s Modern Family). Even if it wasn’t particularly funny to me (at least from what I’d seen), we don’t have very many female led films that aren’t romcoms, and buying a ticket was my way of telling Hollywood, that I want more of these. IMDB just informed me that it also has a female director, so even more reason. Although since most of my ticket was paid for with AMC Stubs rewards, I don’t know how loud that message was. Thought that counts. Besides, I was really interested to see Reese go the comedic route, and I also don’t get very many opportunities to see Sofia, whom I love. Dismal reviews and unimpressive previews aside, I had to do it.

I think the expectations were set rightfully low, which meant that every moment that landed was a delightful surprise. It had a bunch of good elements and pieces, they just didn’t all jive together very well. The plot wasn’t too exciting. Witherspoon is a very by the book cop, who takes her job too seriously to the point where she’s an outcast on the force. She’s given a seemingly simple task of accompanying an FBI agent to transport 2 witnesses to trial. When her partner and one witness are killed, she’s left trying to keep the other safe (this is where Ms Vergara comes into play) and get her to her destination on time. Really, it’s all just an excuse for Reese and Sofia to play.

I’m actually rather impressed with Witherspoon’s comedic chops. I mean, I shouldn’t be too impressed since she is an incredible actress (and has much of the awards hardware to prove it), but this isn’t in her typical wheelhouse. Speaking in comedy terms, I guess she’d be more of the straight player, but even then she was a little zany. With a thick southern accent and more earnest determination than I’ve seen in a while from any character, I loved her.

Vergara *momentary pause while I start searching Youtube for clips of her because she’s so funny and I love her so much* was everything I hoped she’d be. I just find her absolutely hilarious and charming. Since I don’t watch Modern Family, I don’t get many chances to see her, so this was a real treat. Yes, she was a bit over the top, which was one of the things that didn’t quite mesh, but I would never in a million years dream of asking that girl to pull back. I’d prefer to try to kick everything else up to her level. Like her in Machete Kills. That was about right.

So the plot was thin, the tone was off, and the pacing was strange. I kinda didn’t care. Reese and Sofia made a wonderful wacky duo, and I for one would like to see them do more together. Hopefully with a little better writing behind them.

Oh also, bonus points for getting some of the Texas details right. Reese was based out of a San Antonio precinct and was trying to get Sofia to Dallas, so lots of Texas stuff in there (even if it was filmed in Louisiana). In particular, they get points for showing news clips from KSAT 12, which really is the ABC network in San Antonio. I know this because we get it down in Laredo. Having a SA based station meant I got lots of Spurs updates. The more you know.

Hot Pursuit – \m/ \m/ \m/”

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