Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Hot Pursuit Is a Comedy Clunker

Plus, The D Train is ambitious but uneven, and the latest episode of Orphan Black is sharp and satisfying.

by | May 7, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got ladies on the run (Hot Pursuit, starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara) and reunited high school classmates (The D Train, starring Jack Black and James Marsden). What do the critics have to say?

Hot Pursuit


On paper, Hot Pursuit looks like a can’t-miss proposition: a buddy chase picture staring two capable comedic actresses. Unfortunately, critics say the film misses very badly indeed, stranding the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara in a plot of startling laziness and predictability. Witherspoon plays Cooper, a straight-laced cop tasked with transporting Daniella Riva (Vergara) across Texas to testify in court against a big-time drug trafficker. Naturally, nothing goes according to plan, and soon the pair are being pursued by would-be assassins and corrupt cops. The critics say Hot Pursuit is a comic dead zone, stuffed with stereotypes and rote situations that fail to conjure much beyond a stray chuckle here and there. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we take count down Witherspoon’s best-reviewed films, and watch our video interview with Witherspoon and Vergara.)

The D Train


Part bromance, part drama, part farce, part cringe comedy, The D Train is nothing if not ambitious. Unfortunately, critics say it’s only partly successful in realizing its various aims, and the result is thought-provoking and well-acted but tonally inconsistent. Jack Black stars as Dan, a perpetual loser who ventures from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles in order to convince Oliver (James Marsden), a former classmate and moderately successful actor, to attend their high school reunion and burnish Dan’s reputation. After a few nights of hard partying, however, Dan discovers he’s gotten more than he bargained for. The pundits say Black and Marsden are both excellent, but the The D Train can’t quite find the perfect balance between moments of darkness and light.

What’s On TV:

“Formalized, Complex, and Costly” (83 percent) offers satisfying action and a good shock, though the season is developing more slowly than some might prefer.

All Happy Families Are Alike” (59 percent) brings season one of Gotham to a somewhat confusing conclusion, but some exciting twists hint at a promising, and hopefully more consistent, season two.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story, a documentary about the man who plays the beloved Sesame Street character, is at 84 percent.
  • 1001 Grams, a comedy about a Norwegian scientist whose love life is in tatters as she journeys to Paris for a conference on the weight of a kilogram, is at 83 percent.
  • The Seven Five, a documentary about a spectacularly corrupt New York City policeman, is at 80 percent.
  • Noble, a based-on-true-events drama about an Irish woman who worked to shelter homeless children in Vietnam, is at 79 percent.
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, a comedy about a 100-year-old man who climbs out a window and disappears, is at 66 percent.
  • 5 Flights Up, starring Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton in a dramedy about an aging couple in the process of selling their apartment, is at 63 percent.
  • Maggie, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin in a thriller about a father attempting to save his daughter from a zombie infection, is at 56 percent.
  • Saint Laurent, a biopic of the famed fashion designer, is at 50 percent.
  • Spike Island, a drama about members of a teenage rock band who attend a Stone Roses gig in order to give the group a demo tape, is at 48 percent.
  • Playing It Cool, starring Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan in a dramedy about an aging couple in the process of selling their apartment, is at 31 percent.
  • Preggoland, a comedy about a woman who fakes a pregnancy and can’t come clean without ruffling feathers, is at 27 percent.
  • Bravetown, starring Josh Duhamel and Laura Dern in a drama about a New York City teen and aspiring DJ who’s sent to live with his estranged father in a blue collar North Dakota town, is at 25 percent.
  • Skin Trade, starring Dolph Lundgren and Tony Jaa in an action thriller about two guys on the trail of the head of a human trafficking cartel, is at 13 percent.

Tag Cloud

Calendar versus spy thriller 2019 Ghostbusters Acorn TV crime drama Rocky medical drama Holiday GoT Binge Guide 2016 TCA Captain marvel werewolf CBS All Access Musicals AMC Esquire Podcast A24 robots Syfy Toys Adult Swim RT History Animation MSNBC Marvel Television rotten movies we love independent Country Television Academy psychological thriller Pride Month Cartoon Network USA Network Starz Comedy Central Sundance TV Lucasfilm anime Disney Plus FX revenge crime thriller DGA singing competition teaser Chilling Adventures of Sabrina sports police drama Quiz crossover richard e. Grant Walt Disney Pictures blockbuster video Extras composers ABC Family Sony Pictures Star Trek harry potter justice league Awards Tour Nominations DC Comics OWN BBC America elevated horror vampires Apple TV+ Winter TV Spring TV Kids & Family TV renewals docudrama Rom-Com YouTube Western The CW Emmys Sci-Fi science fiction Sneak Peek 71st Emmy Awards PaleyFest Marathons christmas movies witnail cops Shudder disaster anthology Lifetime TV Land Elton John Reality Competition OneApp BET Polls and Games Song of Ice and Fire SundanceTV Peacock VH1 Superheroes Arrowverse cartoon Mary Poppins Returns YA Freeform TBS The Purge E3 green book Video Games space ITV free movies discovery cats mockumentary Mystery hist biography Avengers X-Men Winners Mudbound Comics on TV Crackle mutant DC streaming service TIFF Spike Epix Anna Paquin unscripted TCA 2017 Disney what to watch Endgame dragons Countdown politics Comedy cancelled CMT El Rey sequel comics Tubi cults The Arrangement directors Oscars Amazon BBC Music technology natural history Premiere Dates award winner See It Skip It jamie lee curtis based on movie screenings Teen Masterpiece theme song Film Box Office HBO Max spain Pet Sematary zero dark thirty Heroines Amazon Prime SXSW PBS festivals Trivia President Watching Series Christmas Hallmark Christmas movies animated Showtime Turner Classic Movies 2018 American Society of Cinematographers Marvel Studios sitcom game of thrones Chernobyl Cannes 2020 psycho boxoffice SDCC Tomatazos Comic Book Cosplay sag awards comic true crime cancelled TV series TCM Paramount binge National Geographic FXX movies ghosts DirecTV LGBT television YouTube Red screen actors guild Character Guide NYCC quibi First Reviews TruTV spider-man book GIFs batman Holidays 2017 strong female leads Biopics Food Network Discovery Channel Tumblr aliens serial killer Black Mirror Netflix Christmas movies Musical Pixar Star Wars blaxploitation Valentine's Day The Witch series nature documentary Writers Guild of America crime Universal Mary poppins miniseries Warner Bros. Turner Creative Arts Emmys Trophy Talk renewed TV shows TLC cancelled television casting GLAAD MCU New York Comic Con CNN Martial Arts stand-up comedy Logo halloween Action Shondaland foreign Classic Film talk show supernatural dceu Thanksgiving game show political drama 20th Century Fox TCA Winter 2020 comiccon kids romance diversity Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Summer canceled Best and Worst golden globes Reality Opinion CBS Grammys Horror Red Carpet Britbox Tarantino Vudu Nickelodeon VICE TV adaptation Interview joker Trailer Fantasy E! Disney+ Disney Plus Hallmark WarnerMedia Women's History Month Photos TNT tv talk CW Seed San Diego Comic-Con south america Set visit Pirates latino Lionsgate transformers Mindy Kaling name the review YouTube Premium thriller Apple TV Plus toy story Superheroe Ellie Kemper hispanic A&E First Look Hulu children's TV period drama cars Paramount Network ABC HBO romantic comedy social media Awards cancelled TV shows Disney streaming service spanish language 24 frames slashers Rock ratings canceled TV shows finale cooking travel historical drama Spectrum Originals Academy Awards Rocketman 21st Century Fox Family Stephen King Sundance Super Bowl Pop APB Drama Schedule History Baby Yoda Lifetime Christmas movies Marvel streaming DC Universe Amazon Prime Video Disney Channel Dark Horse Comics Fall TV dc adventure Ovation The Walking Dead IFC Films Apple RT21 IFC indie facebook spinoff 007 cinemax 45 Year in Review LGBTQ Crunchyroll FOX Emmy Nominations zombie dramedy USA breaking bad Nat Geo Election ESPN Bravo zombies WGN Film Festival war Sundance Now Infographic MTV NBC Fox News Brie Larson reboot 2015 doctor who Mary Tyler Moore Netflix Certified Fresh Columbia Pictures