Hot Pursuit (Blu-ray)

August 18, 2015 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

Want to see the best comedy of 2015? You won’t find it in Hot Pursuit. For that honor belongs to Spy, the terrific action comedy starring Melissa McCarthy. If you missed that film theatrically, you have just a little while longer until it comes out to rent or own. In the meantime, you’re probably wondering if you should bother with Pursuit at all. While I’m closer to saying no than yes, it can still offer decent entertainment value so long as you don’t overthink it. Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) has trained all her life to be a cop. She’s clearly by the book, almost too much so. It’s obvious she likes what she does. Cooper is given an assignment to escort a US Marshal. They are to protect an informant and his wife Daniella (Sophia Vergara). A shootout ensues with everyone getting killed except for Cooper and Daniella. Ultimately, this is what puts the two on the run, and their adventure begins. The plot is overly familiar and predictable, but that’s irrelevant in a film of this nature.

Hot Pursuit was torn apart by critics this past summer and suffered an almost worse fate at the Box Office. This is hardly some overlooked gem, but the film offers enough entertainment value to justify checking out one night. It takes a little while to get going, and there are more than a few jokes that simply don’t work, but there are more than enough amusing moments to make a mild recommendation. I think a big problem here is the cast. Witherspoon and Vergara are both capable actors, but they don’t have great chemistry here. That’s an essential ingredient for a film like this. I just think with two better actresses in the lead, this might’ve been more successful than what we end up with. I mentioned Spy from earlier this summer, but even The Heat from a couple years ago worked much better than this. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy were a great pair. All nitpicking aside, the film does seem to get better as it goes along. Vergara’s accent can irritate after a while, but the film’s brief running time helps make this journey tolerable.

Video: How’s it look?

Warner presents Hot Pursuit in a 2.40:1 AVC HD image that looks good, though I was surprised to see several scenes that were plagued with grain. This isn’t something that was so terribly distracting that it took my focus off the movie, but for a new to Blu-ray film from a major studio I was a bit shocked. Detail, as expected, is crystal clear and colors are bright, bold and vidid. Save for those outdoor scenes with the grain, it’s a good effort and if the movie were, say, a decade old I’d look past this. Still, it’s a good transfer that should please viewers.

Audio: How’s it sound?

Comedies aren’t really known for their soundtracks and Hot Pursuit is no exception.  The DTS HD Master Audio mix has a few moments that show off the capability, but those are few and far between. I can only think of a couple instances in which the soundtrack really took control. Vocals are sharp and crisp lacking any distortion and the front channels handle the mix with relative ease. Directional effects are varied, but again I wasn’t really expecting this mix to shake the room. As much as I hate this saying: it is what it is.

Supplements: What are the extras?

DVD Extra

  • The Womance – Reese and Sofía’s on-set crazy-mashup-antics. From dance moves to car crashes, see these women light up the screen and leave us in stitches with their side-splitting comedic styling.

Blu-ray Exclusives

  • Say What? – Watch the hilarity that ensued when Reese and Sofía each tried to speak the other’s language. See Reese get her tongue tied trying to speak Spanish and watch Sofía’s tongue actually go numb from trying to speak English.
  • Action Like A Lady – In this action montage we will see all the crazy fun that went into creating the insane action scenes in the film. From jumping out a ten-foot high window, to a crazy girl fight to commandeering a tour bus during a high- speed shoot out…bring on the laughs.
  • Alternate Ending
  • DVD/Digital HD Copy

The Bottom Line

Neither the disaster you might’ve feared nor an overlooked gem, Hot Pursuit just entertaining enough to warrant checking out once. There are some amusing moments and once the film hits its stride, it can be a bit of fun. It’s also a nice placeholder until the far superior Spy comes out. Rent it.

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