In Theaters This Weekend: Reese Witherspoon needs to fire her agent

8 May

Avengers: Age of Ultron came out last weekend, and it did what everybody expected it to do (or maybe a little less, due to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight), and everybody got the hell out of the way. No major movies opened last week against it, and it looks like the studios projected a second weekend of dominance, as well, as the only film out this go around, is a female, buddy-cop, road trip movie, that looks miscast and miserable, and ploy to grab at the demo that doesn’t plan on seeing Avengers for a second time.

Hot Pursuit stars Reese Witherspoon as a beat cop, and Sofia Vergara as the drug kingpin’s wife, who needs protection. This odd couple pairing – the by-the-book blonde vs. spicy-Latin-bombshell – soon realize both sides of the law are out to set them up, and they learn to work together, to make it to their destination (Dallas), and clear their names. It’s like every other road trip buddy movie (Due Date, Identity Thief, Planes, Trains & Automobiles), but the problem here is it seems unbearably miscast. Witherspoon plays the dowdy, naive, wholesome cop, out to get the job done, whatever it takes, but the problem is, the whole time I’m watching the trailer, all I’m doing is picturing Amy Poehler, playing an Amy Poehler-type character…..but it’s not Amy Poehler, it’s Reese Witherspoon. Sofia Vergara does what she’s supposed to do, walking around in a bra and yelling things in Spanish. And it’s no surprise there’s an oddly-timed tabloid scandal regarding frozen embryos and her ex-husband (really scrapping the barrel to drum up press for this stinker). But if we wanted someone to play the foil, and look weird in granny underwear, we want Amy Poehler, who is, after all, an actual comedian. Oh, that reminds me, it also doesn’t look funny AT ALL. It’s Thelma and Louise meets The Odd Couple, and if the studios needed to throw a sacrificial lamb at the feet of Iron Man and Co., this bungled mess of a film looks like it will do nicely. I’m guessing the film was written with female comedians in mind (of which there are growing numbers: Poehler, Wiig, McCarthy, Schumer), but for lack of anyone willing, they must have thrown a bunch of money at a big name, and lost any hope of improvisational-magic to fix a rehashed, dull script.

But hey, if you were stuck watching the May-Pac fight (speaking of dull!) last weekend, you might want to go see Avengers: Age of Ultron…we heard from about 60 million people that it was pretty good…

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