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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Hot Pursuit movie review: nice rack and ruin

Hot Pursuit red light

Spectacularly misogynist. Every single attempt at humor — all of which fail — comes from abusing and humiliating its central female characters as women.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

With the spectacularly misogynist Hot Pursuit, director Anne Fletcher — whose oeuvre also includes the antiwoman horrors 27 Dresses and The Proposal — finally makes me suspect that she has decided to become Hollywood’s “cool girl,” playing along with all the boys’ crap and roaring at all their sexist jokes so that they’ll like her and let her hang out in their clubhouse. There isn’t a single laugh to be found in this “comedy” about a cop (Reese Witherspoon: Wild) protecting a witness (Sofía Vergara: Wild Card) on her way to testify against a drug lord, but every single attempt at humor comes at their expense as women: Isn’t Witherspoon too cute to be a cop? Isn’t Vergara too sexy to have a brain? Isn’t it hilarious how one stomps her adorably tiny foot when she is called out as short? Isn’t it uproarious how the other gets furious when people think she’s old? Isn’t the menstrual cycle amusing? Women! They are just so silly in their preoccupation with their appearance, and so weird in their bodily functions. The running motif about lesbians — they’re too frumpy to be feminine until they’re so alluring that they can serve as an irresistible distraction to a man — is particularly horrifying. (I hope every woman who knows screenwriters David Feeney and John Quaintance has shunned them.) Naturally, after an hour and 10 minutes of abusing the two women and pouring humiliation after humiliation upon them, the movie will then ask us to reconsider: Perhaps we should not underestimate women after all? Maybe women might have a glimmer of intelligence and competence lurking under their boobs and all that hair? Nice negging, Hot Pursuit. But you’ve already shown your true colors.

See also my #WhereAreTheWomen rating of Hot Pursuit for its representation of girls and women.

red light half a star

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Hot Pursuit (2015)
US/Can release: May 08 2015
UK/Ire release: Jul 31 2015

MPAA: rated PG-13 for sexual content, violence, language and some drug material
BBFC: rated 12 (implied strong language, moderate sex references, violence, drugs)

viewed on my iPad

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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