Filmhounds Magazine

All things film – In print and online

Pursuit (Film Review)

2 min read

AF5A2469.JPG

It feels obligatory at this point for an actor to have at least one straight-to-DVD-esque film on their résumé, where their entire role is filmed in one location with one or maybe two outfits from what is seemingly the world's smallest wardrobe.

But Pursuit has more: while fits that mould, also shows up in a performance that'll beg the question “was Emile stoned the entire shoot?” (on the mellow stuff, this ain't no Nic Cage craze fest).

Largely, the film focuses on another character: Mike Breslin (Jake Manley), otherwise known as Sombre Cop Whose Wife Died in terms of stereotypes. He's pursuing the killers, which feels like a complete conflict of interest for anyone on an investigation. Regardless, of course, this becomes a wider conspiracy that brings him into the path of Rick Calloway (Emile Hirsch), Rick's father John (John Cusack) and the Diego family, all at war with one another because of another missing wife (honestly, moral of the story: don't get married, apparently).

Lionsgate Home Entertainment ©

The story is pretty standard. There are backstabbings, corrupt cops, fathers and sons at odds with one another, threatened loved ones, a forced romance, etc. Nothing original in sight, but there was potential to inject it at least with some energy. And yet, nay. Because Pursuit feels like a creative sleepwalk. Cusack is cashing in: his scenes feel like he was asked to say a couple of lines while on vacation in his villa. And Hirsch, again, looks and sounds like he was picked up in the middle of a night out. It gets a couple of chuckles at least.

In its defence, the idea of three converging stories at least keeps the film moving. Most of the time, it's cop vs. crime lord, but there's a little more complexity at play. It's just a bit dull overall – unless you're a fan of gratuitous slow-mo shots of people floating through small spaces in action scenes with zero stakes. That's unlikely. 

So, as it stands, Pursuit offers nothing of interest. The story ticks along, the action can occasionally up the pace (even though it's shot without clarity and the most obvious stunt stand-ins ever). But these moments are so few and far between, particularly when we're asked to follow the most generic of characters in Breslin. Not worth the investment: stick to Cusack's earlier efforts and Hirsch's Speed Racer breakthrough.

Pursuit will be available on Digital Download from 12th June