See John Cusack Appear Wildly Out Of Place In Pursuit Trailer

Watch John Cusack phone it in (literally) in the trailer for Pursuit!

By Michileen Martin | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

john cusack pursuit

Once the darling of ’80s teen drama cinema, some of the jobs John Cusack has taken in recent years have proven questionable. It looks like his first film since the 2019 Western Never Grow Old will definitely wind up on the same list of questionable choices. While we wouldn’t want to judge any movie purely by the trailer, it’s difficult to get past the fact that in the new preview for the upcoming action thriller Pursuit, Cusack looks to be phoning it in — as in, literally.

John Cusack’s New Grow Old co-star Emile Hirsch joins him again, this time as gun-toting hacker Rick Calloway,. Rick’s wife has been kidnapped. Early in the trailer, Calloway makes it clear he believes his father John (Cusack) knows something about his wife’s disappearance. For his part, Cusack doesn’t really do a whole lot. He’s in the trailer often, but in between scenes of shoot outs, explosions, and bare-knuckle brawls, Cusack is grilling steaks in his backyard. Or he’s talking on the phone to someone who appears to may or may not be the crime boss behind his daughter-in-law’s kidnapping. In some cases he’s just looking meaningfully through his polarized sunglasses out windows or off the sides of porches. You can watch the trailer below.

To be fair, there is a quick shot at the end in which it looks like John Cusack has either been knocked down or has dropped to the floor to avoid gunfire. So clearly, at some point in Pursuit he is forced to do something other than prepare lunch. Thankfully, whatever that “something” is, it doesn’t involve wearing a black hoodie with a red bandana around his neck like Hirsch’s Rick Calloway — apparently so the violent hacker can hide from his enemies as an extra from 1984’s Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.

According to the official synopsis for Pursuit (via Collider), Calloway’s quest to find his wife will be complicated by Detective Breslin (Jake Manley) and the “no-nonsense female cop” (Elizabeth Ludlow) he joins forces with, who wind up on his trail. But the real drama of the story seems to revolve around the Calloway father and son, the former of which may or may not have something to do with her kidnapping. John Cusack isn’t known for playing villains, but he’s taken some impressive turns as bad guys. In fact, in his last film Never Grow Old, Cusack plays a sadistic gunslinger while Hirsch plays the Irish undertaker who stands up to him. In the 2013 thriller Grand Piano, Cusack plays a killer who promises to murder Elijah Wood‘s pianist character if he plays a single wrong note at a performance.

But while those examples represent some of John Cusack’s most critically-acclaimed work, we’re not so sure Pursuit will ever be counted among them. Pursuit is co-written and directed by Brian Skiba, whose highest critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes is 17% for the 2019 comedy horror Rottentail. To be fair, in part Rottentail has the highest score because it’s one of only two Skiba-directed films that enough critics reviewed to warrant a score. The other, the 2020 action thriller The 2nd, scored a 0%. Pursuit arrives in theaters and on demand Friday, February 18.