The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Hot Pursuit | Reese Witherspoon, Sofía Vergara, Joaquín Cosío, Robert Kazinsky | Review

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2sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is BAD Judy Thorburn

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2lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is BAD


Hot Pursuit

Oscar winning actress (for Walk the Line) Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, from TV's popular sit com Modern Family,  join forces in Hot Pursuit, a female buddy comedy with the same kind of premise we've seen over and over again, in which a mismatched pair are on the run from authorities and/or criminals.

Hot Pursuit is a follow up to Reese's Oscar nominated role in the drama WILD based on Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling memoir of the same name, and this is Sofia's first lead role in a feature film. Both are talented actresses, but they can't save this lame movie.

Reese Witherspoon plays Rose Cooper, a San Antonio police officer who grew up wanting to be just like her father, a respected cop, but screwed up when she accidentally set the mayor's son on fire.  As the butt of humor, and unable to live down the unfortunate incident, the petite policewoman just wants to salvage her reputation.

The opportunity comes when Cooper is assigned to help Deputy Federal Marshall Jackson (Richard T. Jones) escort a major witness for the prosecution, and his “trophy”  wife Daniella Riva (Fergara), to Dallas to testify at a trial against a drug lord (Joaquín Cosío).  Soon after arriving at Riva's mansion, things go terribly wrong when masked gunmen break in and kill Danielle's husband and the Deputy Marshall.   Although Cooper manages to escape with Danielle in the fiery Latina's red 1968 cadillac convertible, they soon find themselves framed and on the run as fugitives as crooked cops and murderous gunmen are on their trail.

Daniella is the tall, sexy, Latina that insists on lugging around a suitcase filled with stiletto shoes, and  Cooper is the much shorter, blonde, uptight, by the books, talkative cop. So of course, as complete opposites, sparks are going to fly during their roadtrip with the two engaging in back and forth bickering banter and wisecracks about each other's very different outward appearance.  We all know the drill. It is all very predictable as the unlikely duo partake in a series of ridiculous, illogical situations featuring silly slapstick and physical humor during their travels across Texas.

In one scene, Daniella and Cooper pretend to be lesbian lovers to distract a man named Red (Jim Gaffigan) who is holding them at gunpoint. He accidentally shoots his finger off and it looks like his dog ate it before Daniella admits she caught it in her hand and trades it in exchange for letting them go. Another sequence has Cooper showing up incognito dressed as a young man resembling Justin Bieber. Then there is the one where the duo hide under the head and skin of a dead deer while making distracting noises.  That bit made no sense, and worst of all, isn't the least bit funny.  Same can be said when at one point, they take over the drivers seat in a speeding tour bus filled with senior citizens who appear to be enjoying the excitement, while being pursued and shot at by the bad guys in another car.

You get the drift. Anything goes, no matter how ludicrous, in an attempt to garner laughs.

Shortly after the story begins, Cooper is shown not having the best luck when it comes to dating, which sets the stage for throwing in a potential love interest. He shows up in the form of Randy, a hunky felon (Robert Kazinsky), discovered in the bed of a pickup truck Daniella and Cooper stole after their cadillac, filled with 42 kilos of cocaine, was totaled. Offering to help the ladies out, Randy comes in handy, has a few flirtatious scenes with Cooper, but before too long disappears, only to return towards the conclusion.

Hot Pursuit does contain a couple of very funny one liners and a few amusing moments.  The funniest of all is a running gag featuring recurring TV news reports telling the public to be on the lookout for the “fugitives” that include descriptions of the pair. It is hard not laugh when, in each follow up news alert, Sofia gets older and Cooper gets shorter and more boyish.

Too bad the funny moments are inconsistent, few, and far between. Instead of a steady stream of smart and clever humor, Hot Pursuit winds up being a moronic, almost insufferable mess. On the plus side, the running time is just 87 minutes.

You would think that Witherspoon, who co-co-founded her production company, Pacific Standard, would know better than to pick this unworthy project to co-produce and costar in with her real life buddy, Vergara. Didn't they read the script?  These actresses certainly deserve much better than this, and so do audiences.


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