Hot Pursuit Review's Hot Pursuit ReviewRating:

3 out of 10


Reese Witherspoon as Cooper

Sofía Vergara as Daniella

Robert Kazinsky as Randy

John Carroll Lynch as Captain Emmett

Matthew Del Negro as Hauser

Michael Mosley as Detective Dixon

Mike Birbiglia as Steve

Richard T. Jones as Det Jackson

Harley Graham as Teen Cooper

Vincent Laresca as Felipe

Joaquín Cosio as Vicente Cortez 

Directed by Anne Fletcher


Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) is a second generation police officer who is known as a bit of a screw-up, but when a federal witness and his wife Daniella (Sofia Vergara) need to be moved into witness protection, she’s called upon to guard Daniella as they go on the run from a crime boss and corrupt cops.


The buddy comedy has had its share of ups and downs, and the success The Heat had in changing the genders of its protagonists can probably be held responsible for this comedy that uses the same formula of two women who don’t get along but have to coexist. While The Heat didn’t exactly set the bar very high for this kind of movie, the oddball pairing of Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara doesn’t work nearly as well, because the lack of actual chemistry between the two actors ends up hurting the formula more than helping it.

After a fun introduction to Witherspoon’s character by showing Cooper as a young girl riding along with her father and seeing how her by-the-books nature makes it hard for her to date as an adult, we get into the rather obvious premise that puts the two actresses on the run from criminals and cops alike. It’s something we’ve seen so often in movies that it’s gotten more than a little formulaic. Hot Pursuit does little to offer any sort of innovation to the genre.

Only a few minutes after they’ve met, Vergara delivers a jab at Witherspoon’s Cooper, calling her a lesbian because she’s so boyish, and that’s basically the direction of the humor where it lobs softballs at the viewers trying to get laughs, rather than ever trying to be even remotely edgy. (The lack of jokes about immigration, the easiest lowest hanging fruit one could possibly grab with this pairing, makes one realize that everyone involved with the movie was trying so hard to be sensitive to potential viewers that they missed the chance at easy laughs.)

The resulting movie ends up being about as entertaining as watching a dogfight between two Chihuahuas inside a burlap sack, and much of what’s so aggravating is that Sofia Vergara comes across like the love child of Lucille Ball and Ricky Ricardo without being as funny as either. It’s fairly obvious at this point Vergara is only as good as the material she’s given, and for the most part, she hasn’t found anything that’s really given her much to do besides wearing tight outfits and trying to get laughs with her thick accent. Meanwhile, Witherspoon seems to have returned to her character from Election except she’s now 15 years older and it’s not nearly as cute, so it feels like she’s backtracking with the weakest material she’s produced so far.

Possibly the low point of the movie comes when Vergara’s character decides that making out with Witherspoon will be what it takes to distract a shotgun-yielding stranger, played by Jim Gaffigan, but it’s a disturbingly unsexy scene that makes you wonder who this movie is meant to entertain, because it’s hard to believe either women or men could find anything to appreciate in this drab attempt at humor. 

I’ll share a little secret that I actually like Anne Fletcher as a director, as she’s made some really fun movies like The Proposal and The Guilt Trip, but for the first time, it feels like Fletcher is fighting out of her weight class with this disaster of a movie that never tries very hard to surpass its weak and lazy screenwriting.

The sure signs of a comedy that just doesn’t work is when it resorts to a blooper reel during the end credits to try and get laughs. Within the first ten minutes of the movie, I predicted it was going to go there, except that the bloopers are as unfunny as the rest of the movie, so there’s little point stretching out the pain of sitting through this movie in hopes the bloopers might save it.

The Bottom Line:

Hot Pursuit might have worked if the two stars had any sort of workable chemistry, but with such a lazy script and not much to really differentiate it from other and far better buddy comedies, the movie ends up being intolerably bad.


Marvel and DC