Reese Witherspoon’s latest film Hot Pursuit opened on theaters yesterday, and the reviews have not been very favorable. In fact, Hot Pursuit is Witherspoon’s worst-reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes.
At the time of this post, Hot Pursuit stands at six percent approval with only six of 103 reviews counted as positive. This surpasses the previously worst-reviewed film for Witherspoon, 1994’s S.F.W., which has a 12 percent approval rating (but has fewer reviews counted).
Hot Pursuit is a buddy comedy that tells the story of a by-the-books cop (Witherspoon) who must protect the widow (Sofia Vergara) of a drug cartel member as they are chased throughout Texas by gunmen and dirty cops. The film was directed by Anne Fletcher (The Guilt Trip) and written by David Feeney and John Quaintance, both of whom worked on the television series, Ben and Kate.
Most of the reviews for Hot Pursuit criticized the fact that it lacks any good humor. Christy Lemire of ChristyLemire.com noted that Witherspoon and Vergara deserve to be working together in a film that isn’t so “frustrating.”
“It’s simultaneously manic and lazy. It’s vaguely misogynistic but too tame to be truly offensive. And it’s a massive waste of two actresses who are appealing individually and might have had a crackling chemistry together.”
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times mentioned that he likes both actresses, but he called Witherspoon’s performance one of her “worst and most forced” to date, while he labeled Vergara’s as “irritating.”
“Even with a running time of 87 minutes, Hot Pursuit spins its wheels in search of subplots and sight gags to keep from running out of gas.”
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone also called Hot Pursuit “unfunny” and noted that the two leads’ talents are wasted.
“Forget a critique, what Hot Pursuit needs is an autopsy.”
While most critics have lambasted the performances of Witherspoon and Vergara, there is one critic who praised both of them in her review. Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice called the duo “a terrific team.”
“Nearly every scene is cut at just the right point, often topped off with a fantastic kicker of dialogue.”
Dustin Putman of the Film File wrote a mildly positive review for Hot Pursuit, but also noted that it “could have been better.”
“Cheerfully inconsequential yet undeniably entertaining throughout its no-nonsense, just-right 87 minutes, the film doesn’t consistently hit the bullseye on all of its gags and spitfire barbs, but gains mileage via two disparate but copacetic lead actresses clearly having a ball. Watching them let loose together does a lot to smooth over the picture’s rockier patches.”
Are you planning on seeing Hot Pursuit despite the bad reviews?
[Image credit: Warner Bros. via Entertainment Weekly]