WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Intense and petite Rose Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) is a police officer charged with transporting and ensuring the safety of Daniella Riva (Sofia Vergara), who is set to testify in court with her husband against a cartel leader named Cortez. When gunmen appear at the Rivas’ residence and kill Daniella’s husband and Cooper’s partner, Cooper is determined to protect Daniella and deliver her safely to court. Things get worse when corrupt officers label Cooper and Daniella as fugitives, and the two women find themselves on the run from not just thugs, but also the police and any civilians that might recognise them. As Cooper and Daniella attempt to look past their conflicting personalities and cooperate with each other, Cooper learns more about Daniella and her real involvement with the case.
WHY SKIP IT: Lo siento, amigos. It really is your typical Cop+Fugitive Road Trip story, with some attempts at comedy thrown in. We’ve seen this tired tale flop on the big screen countless times before, and Hot Pursuit is no different.
The movie was headed for the gutter as soon as it began; Witherspoon‘s feisty protagonist proves within seconds that she is unable to carry a comedy on her own. Cooper’s solo attempts at humour and charm fall flat, and she gains no sympathy or even pity laughs from the audience. Everything is dreadfully dull until the “Enter Daniella” moment, and thankfully, we are not made to wait too long for it. But even after, Vergara is unable to save the movie.
Hot Pursuit has no idea what it wants to be. Its selling point appears to be comedy, but the jokes are not smart or frequent enough for the movie to satisfy as one. In fact, the two-minute trailers contain most of the movie’s best jokes. Once the plot twist is reached and Hot Pursuit approaches its climatic showdown, the movie tosses comedy aside and adopts a strangely serious tone that the audience did not pay for. To make matters worse (yes, it gets worse), the film even throws in bits of “insightful” moments about staying true to one’s identity and not judging a book by its cover. But all these really do is interrupt the already weak comedic momentum of the movie. Thanks, but no thanks, Dr. Phil.
In short, Hot Pursuit is all over the place and unsurprisingly crashes and burns.
WHY WATCH IT: To be fair, some of the jokes really are funny. As we had seen in Modern Family, Sofia Vergara’s accent can make almost any dialogue sound hilarious. Sadly, that is just not enough to sustain us for 90 minutes. On a side note, a short-haired Reese Witherspoon in a suit really does look a bit like “José Bieber”, but even that is not worth the price of a movie ticket.
Just check out Ms Witherspoon for yourself here:
Rating: 1.0/5 (TALK-o-meter: “They actually put this on the big screen?”)