Belfast Telegraph

Hot Pursuit review: This tepid rubbish takes the heat

The Hollywood dream factory exists for one reason: to make money. Lots of it.

Unfortunately for profit-fixated studio executives, audiences are discerning and unpredictable so when a filmmaker accidentally stumbles upon a winning formula, competitors hurriedly churn out half-baked imitations in the hope that lightning might strike twice or thrice.

In 2013, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy generated a tidy profit at the box office in the mismatched buddy cop comedy, The Heat.

They sizzled thanks to a tight script, peppered with one-liners and visual gags, and the glorious on-screen chemistry of the leads.

Two years later, Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara attempt in vain to peddle us Hot Pursuit, a mismatched cop 'n' crook comedy that should be retitled The Tepid.

Scriptwriters David Feeney and John Quaintance demonstrate a woefully limited understanding of their stereotypical female characters by targeting menstrual cycles, designer heels, lingerie and faux lesbianism for cheap laughs.

More troubling, the heroines are unlikeable in the midst of various shoot-outs and chases because they spend so much time bickering about their appearance and what they have concealed in their "chestal region".

Directed by Anne Fletcher without any sense of urgency, Hot Pursuit is a hot mess with the emphasis on mess.

Occasionally, broad physical comedy warrants a chuckle, but it's invariably followed by another poorly conceived and executed tumbleweed moment.

Witherspoon and Vergara are squandered in malnourished roles, trading insults about their respective height and Colombian accent.

Lock up both actresses and throw away the key.

Two stars

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