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Hot Pursuit (2015)
Warner Home Video
Blu-ray Disc Released: 8/11/2015
All Ratings out of
Review by Stephanie Long, Posted on 7/28/2015
In 2013, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy put a fun twist on the buddy movie formula by giving it a female perspective. Just like the Lethal Weapon series that really epitomize buddy (especially cop buddy) movies so well, The Heat had two polar opposites work together to accomplish a goal. Bullock was the uptight uber-rule following special agent who works with Melissa McCarthy's rough and crass street cop to solve a case in what turned out to be an entertaining version of a favorite film genre. So when you pair up "America's Sweetheart" Reese Witherspoon with the wacky Sofia Vegara in a similar type of movie, what could possibly go wrong?
I can easily sum up what is wrong with this movie in six words: Hot Pursuit is a Hot Mess. The magic of The Heat is nowhere to be found in this movie. The premise is similar: Reese Witherspoon plays Cooper, the daughter of a respected police officer who made a silly mistake early in her career that has followed her ever since and made it hard to be taken seriously. Cooper gets a chance to prove she has what it takes as a cop when her boss gives her an assignment to protect sassy and confident Daniella (Sofia Vegara), the wife of an associate to a drug lord, so that she can join her husband and testify against the drug lord. Petite blonde Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon playing an earnest determined cop with the most Southern accent ever paired with the tall, voluptuous Sofia Vegara with her thick accent and sharp tongue - here is your polar opposites ready to work against the odds and bond in the process that usually makes the perfect buddy movie.
I'll be up front and admit I am not a fan of Reese Witherspoon. She was good in Legally Blonde, and I didn't mind her in The Wild, but she is just one of those actresses I have never liked. Something about her has always come across as condescending, and when she tries to play the straight-laced by-the-book cop out to prove herself, it really doesn't work because it feels like an act - not acting. Every scene she is in just screams "Look at me. Aren't I so cute and hilarious playing this character?" The answer is no. Not even Sofia Vegara can save the movie. She is essentially playing her character Gloria from Modern Family just even more over the top. The chemistry is off although you can see Reese trying so hard to - wink, wink- play against type and isn't that funny? Again, no.
The script is unoriginal, and the attempts at humor come across as desperate. When you have Jim Gaffigan in a cameo (Hot pPockets), and even he isn't funny, then something is wrong. Reese's over the top accent becomes ingratiating and the unoriginality of the script emphasizes just how pedestrian every line is in the movie. There is a running gag about Reese's height and Sofia's age throughout the movie that earns a chuckle, however, a chuckle alone does not save a movie this bad. Do yourself a favor and re-watch The Heat. It is not a perfect movie by any means, but compared to Hot Pursuit, it looks Oscar-worthy.
Hot Pursuit reinforces my notion that I don't want to visit Texas on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Warner Home Video. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 24 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, displaying no notable grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look very good, most notably brighter tones, and the image is never overly dark or bright. The depth is acceptable, as is the level of detail. Overall, the video is about what one would expect for a modern comedy. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 2.7 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The movie offers plenty of action sequences, so we get a nice selection of stereo and surround sound effects, as the audio moves from side-to-side and from front-to-back. Some of these effects are nicely detailed. However, I noted that the subwoofer was somewhat subdued.
The Hot Pursuit Blu-ray Disc contains only a few extra features. "The Womance" (3 minutes) is basically just a goofy reel of on-set goofing around between Witherspoon and Vergara, intercut with comments from the pair. "Hot Pursuit: Say What?" (4 minutes) is a reel of bloopers in which Vergara has trouble pronouncing things. Is that racist? "Action Like a Lady" (2 minutes) is yet another odd reel, which shows quick on-set shots of stunts being rehearsed and performed. The "Alternate Ending" (1 minute) isn't truly different from the ending as presented. It is simply a series of comments from various characters wrapping up their stories.
Review Copyright 2015 by Mike Long