Review: ‘Pursuit’

John Cusack And Emile Hirsch Star In A Throwback That’s All Action And No Story

“Detective Breslin crosses paths with Calloway, a ruthless hacker desperate to find his wife, who has been kidnapped by a drug cartel. When Calloway escapes police custody, Breslin joins forces with a no-nonsense female cop to reclaim his prisoner. But is Calloway’s crime-boss father somehow involved in this explosive situation?”

Whew! Just whew!!!

Lionsgate’s newest action film Pursuit focuses on a computer hacker in search of his missing wife. It also focuses on an NYPD officer whose wife was murdered by Cartel members. It also focuses on the two different people finding their way into the Midwest and getting embroiled in a Midwest mafia beef over the hacker. It’s a lot to digest!

Rick (Emile Hirsch wearing plenty of clearly fake tattoos and speaking with a strange tone) is a reclusive computer hacker whose wife is missing. After paying a ransom with 20 bitcoin (to show he’s loaded and knows about crypto) and still not getting his wife back decides to go on a shooting spree to try and find her. In addition, detective Mike Breslin (Jake Manley) is working undercover during a drug deal when the dealer is on Rick’s checklist for his rampage quest. After multiple shootouts with extensive collateral damage, Rick uses his customary Google to find out that Mike’s pregnant wife has been murdered by Cartel members. Is that important to the story… sorta.

As they play their game of cat and mouse, both parties find their way into Arkansas, where there are more shootouts, fistfights, there’s even a Honkey Tonk dance at a local bar that ends into a bar brawl. In Arkansas, Rick has upset the local machine with his rampaging, which is causing problems for his father John (John Cusack who deserves better than this movie) who’s a local kingpin and another kingpin Taye Biggs (William Katt), yes that’s his name!! John wants to find his estranged son and put a stop to his drama peacefully while Taye Biggs (that name will never not be funny) wants to send a small army after him.

Also tagging along with NYPD cop Mike (who somehow has jurisdiction in Arkansas!) is local cop Zoe (Elizabeth Faith Ludlow) who’s showing Mike the ropes, trying to keep the peace, but also has her own dark and troubled past connected to the local organized crime world. While just about everyone in Pursuit is playing a caricature of a type, it seems that Ludlow is the only person trying to elevate the film with some actual pathos and acting. But she can only do but so much in this film.

Despite how ridiculous Pursuit is overall, it does have some decent moments. Some of the action scenes (when not filmed in irritatingly slow motion) are well orchestrated and pretty fun. And there’s a LOT of action in this film. It probably doesn’t go more than ten to fifteen minutes without a shootout at any given moment. John Cusack also does a pretty good job with what he is given, which mainly is playing with his grandson on the swingset while orchestrating criminal activities on the phone. It’s clearly a paycheck for Cusack, but he doesn’t phone it in. However, that doesn’t forgive the incredulously bad script that seemed it was written by an AI machine that watched every 80s action movie within a weekend and regurgitated out a script. It’s hard to imagine that Pursuit has three writers that drafted everything together. Overall, Pursuit is a movie, but that term might need to be redefined!

Pursuit is currently available in Select Theaters, Digital, and On-Demand.