Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Hot Pursuit’ (2015)

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

On the surface, Hot Pursuit is about an uptight law enforcement agent shepherding an unwilling witness to court to testify against a drug lord. Archetypally, it’s a joust between by-the-book, tightly coiled Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) and renegade Colombian hottie Daniella (Sofia Vergara). Given that one woman intensely colors inside the lines and the other doesn’t even see the lines, prepare for a bumpy ride to Dallas.

Turns out Saturnine themes of law, order, focus and responsibility – which have basically killed obsessive Cooper’s joy in life – vs. Uranian urges to move independently and erratically are only a tease. The movie’s deeper archetypal focus is Mercurial activities, such as thinking, speaking and trickery.

Directed by Anne Fletcher, Hot Pursuit is about smarts, both traditional and conniving. Cooper identifies and spews out sections of the law in non-stop cop-speak, and Daniella mashes up the English language. However, Daniella’s hare-brained way of speaking, which suggests that she’s not too bright, conceals a deeper intelligence and Mercurial cunning, a paean to the imp god’s having stolen Apollo’s cattle. And Cooper, who’s bound to the law by metaphorical handcuffs of her own making, as she efficiently “commandeers” everything in her path, begins to get a new handle on her career by improvising and flying by the seat of her pants.  Somehow she even manages to find her own inner criminal.

Cooper’s boss tells her, “Try not to get all in your head about it.” But this movie is, in fact, all about the head’s contents and how, often, one can’t read a book by its cover. Hot Pursuit is a lot smarter and more subtle than it first appears.

Archetype: Thinker. Law Enforcer. Renegade. Trickster.

Astrology Archetype: ☿ ♄ ♅ (Mercury, Saturn, Uranus)

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