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No the film won't win any oscars, but the tropical locations, John Cusack's talent, and gruffy Robert Loggia make this a very watchable film. I have seen this movie dozens of times and never get tired of it.
From John Cusack's earlier days, this film is a cute one that slipped
through the cracks. It features a shaggy-haired John from his earlier,
hapless romantic teen phase. Ben Stiller, as ever, plays a jerk. It's
not a must-see, but a good one to pass the time with and just have a
laugh at the strange things Cusack has to do in this movie--aside from
getting wet and topless...
High points of the movie: watching him get stoned with a bunch of island natives, get drunk in an island bar and shanghaied into service on a boat, and then arrested and thrown into a local jail. The crazy pirate, played by Robert Loggia was excellent comedy relief as well.
...is better than a whole terrible one? I dunno. But I do know that this would-be entry into the John Cusack teen film canon (beginning with "The Sure Thing" and "Better Off Dead", proceeding through "One Crazy Summer," ending with "Say Anything") is worth a look. The first half is my favorite, probably partially having to do with the fact that for whatever reason, it's the half I saw more often when catching this on HBO back in high school. It concerns an average guy (does J. Cusack play anything else?) who desperately needs to track down the girlfriend he told he couldn't accompany to Jamaica and proceeds to try and do so for the duration of the film, after narrowly missing her at the airport. What follows is a decreasingly funny/increasingly less inspired series of misadventures, but Cusack pulls most of it off, simply 'cause he's Cusack, the master of the slow-burn/hang-dog/sarcastic one-liner. Far more memorable and compelling are the early scenes which put Cusack's Dan Bartlett through the paces. Less interesting is the 'drug running/pirate' subplot that develops halfway through in order to let Cusack's character be the hero. But it does have some funny moments, plus a young Ben Stiller before he ever discovered the joys of Mary and baby batter. Worth a look for Cusack- and 80's movie-philes, but all others probably need not apply.
Formulaic, uninspired but painless teen comedy. It's the typical formula where the young hero encounters every imaginable object as he tries to get to his (constantly changing) destination; thanks to his wits, and to pure luck, he overcomes all of them. This film shares with many 80s comedies ("Stripes" comes to mind) the bad habit of turning into an action film halfway through, but the beautiful locations (beautifully photographed) keep it pleasant enough. (**)
Male/Born 1983/Detroit, Mi.
I am very disappointed with the lack of support on IMDb for this movie. I will admit I was very young when I first saw Hot Pursuit, but I recently watched it for the first time in many years and loved it all over again. It's a non-stop adventure with a ton of laughs, great characters, and an interesting story. It features Cusack in the prime of his young career and Ben Stiller before he was Ben Stiller.
I described the movie to a friend of mine as a comedy/adventure that kinda turns into a watered down Rambo flick...but in my opinion it works really well and is probably my favorite Cusack flick. I recently saw Better Off Dead for the first time and thought it was pretty good, but it's amazing to me that this Cusack movie doesn't carry more of a fan base.
Unfortunately, you may have a hard time finding this flick in the rental stores. I think I paid $8 for a new copy on Amazon, but this movie is definitely worth the buy. It will be one that you can watch over and over!!
Danny Bartlett can't wait until he and his girlfriend, Lori Conenberg
head out with her family on a Caribbean vacation. But what stands in
his way of this perfect dream is a final chemistry exam, which he left
to study for the night before (oh that brings back memories ;)). What
occurs is that Danny flunks his exam and when Lori's family arrives to
pick him up. He must cancel the trip. Not long after the Cronenberg's
left. His chemistry professor comes in decides to give him a break, by
giving passing grade and encouraging him to catch up with her. Dan
misses their plane, but eventually arrives in the Caribbean. In his
goal to be with Lori he manages to stumble into one unusual situation
Like I was, if you're feeling lazy. This Cusack vehicle might not be his greatest (far from it), but it passes by as an earnest comedy teen caper. It's a nostalgia trip of the 80s brand of teen fluff and god I love that style. "Hot Pursuit" is generically peppered with a bonbon of spontaneous activities and colourful characters, which makes sure its never boring. Helped along by snappy pacing and John Cusack's sprucely maniac performance is another highlight. Despite these gold and energy filled aspects, it's still quite uninspired in its story telling and the bubblegum script is not as oddly witty as you would hope. Simply put it's not funny. Diverting yep, but far from hilarious. What hits you with a wallop is its change of direction mid-way through the film. It's a story with definite mood swings. From it's cosy light hearted beginning that turns into a violent adventure thriller. Somewhere in the middle of all of that is the bumbling chase pattern. Although like most of these products we know how it's going to end up with a happy feel good time and good guys come through. These things shouldn't bother you, as why would you be watching it then. Director Steven Lisberger does a passable job. He manages to get some breathtaking images of the alluringly sparkling Caribbean locations. The music score is a relic of the times, but it being a zippy package only enhances the chirpy air created by its lively carefree environment and inhabitants. A quick-witted John Cusack is his usual charming (and popular) self. He basically carries the film through its dead patches. If he wasn't the lead for this film, I'm sure it just wouldn't be as appealing. Making his film debut is a stiffly raw Ben Stiller as a slime ball character. His frail performance and off humour is totally unsuccessful. His father Jerry Stiller has a joyfully untamed part and Robert Loggia is let loose as the neurotic head case sea captain that teams up with Cusack's character. A lovely Wendy Gazelle is good in her part as Lori. Monte Markham and Shelley Fabares are fine as the parents. Turning up in a bright sunny role is Keith David as a relaxed, pot-smoking local with some amusing banter to share.
This predictable 80s comedy is a modest (if forgettable) attempt that passes the time without much trouble. It's one you wouldn't go out of your way to see (unless you're a fan of Cusack and want to see all his films), but if it's on TV there's no harm in it.
Unfunny comedy about a college student (John Cusack with Gabriela Sabatini's 80s hair) trying to find his rich girlfriend and her family so he can join them on their Caribbean vacation. Wacky hijinks ensue....light on the wacky. I really like John Cusack, especially his early stuff, but this just stinks. It's not funny at all. I had to double check IMDb in the middle of it to make sure it was supposed to be a comedy because there were so few laughs or even attempts at laughs. Cusack tries his best but the material is so weak he can do nothing with it. So he resorts to things like yelling all of his lines as if that makes them funnier. Well, he was with Robert Loggia in many scenes and that's kind of his thing so maybe that explains that. The supporting cast doesn't help much. Ham is the order of the day. In addition to Loggia, there's Monte Markham, Keith David, and Jerry Stiller all trying too hard. Ben Stiller appears here with his dad in one of his earliest roles. He's pretty bad, too. Always nice to see Shelley Fabares, even in a worthless part. The best part of the movie is Wendy Gazelle's beautiful smile. We don't get to see nearly enough of that, though. It's a very weak movie that has so few laughs it tries to become an action flick near the end. At one point it appears Cusack has murdered some bad guys, which might have at least given the movie some value as a curiosity, but no they live. It's watchable enough if you're not expecting it to be funny. Everybody who wants to laugh should avoid it.
After a hiatus of weeks, I'm back with scouring the library for more
John Cusack movies. Hot Pursuit is one of his earliest movies, even
earlier than the previously reviewed Say Anything. Here, he plays a
teenager whose Chemistry exam stands in the way of spending a Caribbean
holiday with his girlfriend and her family.
However, his professor turns a blind eye to his flunking of the exam and the need for remedial lessons, and Cusack has to pursue his girl and her family as they had already set off without him. It's a decent comedy as he gets into situations like missing planes, spending the night with ganja-smoking Caribbeans, getting entangled with a pirate of sorts, and so on. And it all boils down to his ability to be able to save his girl and her family when they become victims of some thugs who take over their yacht.
Fans of Ben Stiller would also want to watch this for one of Stiller's early performances on screen, and a villain at that. He doesn't have much lines, and neither are they funny though.
Like most teen romance comedies of the 80s, it's pretty predictable stuff, and plays like a teenage boy's fantasy of how a holiday could probably turn out, and becoming the hero who saves the day. Suitable for those boring weekends which you want to waste away.
Barebones Code 1 DVD containing no extras.
Hot Pursuit is a mildly funny comedy which is likely to draw interest from
audiences searching for John Cusak movies.
Dan Bartlett (Cusak) is supposed to go on vacation with his girlfriend. Lori Cronenberg. to the Islands. But, he has to bail at the last minute after flunking his Chemistry exam and his girlfriend leaves without him. A generous Chemistry teacher helps him out though, and Danny is once again able to go. But, what a surprise (not), he misses his flight and opportunity to join Lori and her family for a vacation on the beaces. Thus begins one misfortune after another as Danny spends his vacation moving from one place to the next to reach his girlfriend. Each time, something stops him from getting where he has to go. The plot is predictable (the procedure), though sometimes what the situation brings is not (the substance). But Danny is persistent, even if growing ever more tired of all the ungodly obstacles that seem to pop up just as he arrives.
Meanwhile, the boat that Lori and her family is traveling on along the coast is being navigated by a murderer, who eventually gets the Cronerbergs involved in his plot. Danny not only must reach his girlfriend, but save the Cronerbergs from the madmen before it's too late, delivering an ending which at times wavers from being too over the top (Danny's plan of escape involves nothing more than a jeep ride and some grenades). Sometimes, the climax doesn't seem enough (the explosions of the grenades look like someone threw a sandbag at a tree).
I think John Cusak fans will nonetheless enjoy the movie as he delivers typtical and youthful Cusak insanity present in his early films, even the ones with the most stupid plots. Even so, there are some funny moments in the movie from other characters, especially Kieth David as one of the Jamacians who gives Danny a lift. And Robert Loggia as Mac, who commands the boat that Danny hithces on.
Dan Bartlett (John Cusack) is a poor kid in a boy's prep school. His
girlfriend Lori Cronenberg has invited him on the family Caribbean
cruise with her parents and sister Ginger. He flunks his test and
misses the trip to take a makeup test. His teacher gives him a break
but he misses the plane anyways. He gets to Porta Rosa and makes the
mistake of accepting a ride from smuggler Alphonso (Keith David) and
his friends. Meanwhile, the Cronenbergs board the boat with Captain
Andrew and Chris Honeywell (Ben Stiller). A hungover Dan joins
MacClaren (Robert Loggia) on his boat as Mac chases after Chris.
This is so 80's with a young John Cusack and a wacky adventure. Even the gun action is so 80's with lots of shooting and nobody gets killed. It's a lesser example of one of these movies. Cusack does his best but he's essentially alone. He's perfectly lovable. I can do without the violent last act. This is mostly for Cusack fans only.
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