Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) grew up in the backseat of her father’s police car. There was no question whether she would follow in her father’s footsteps. However, after an unfortunate tasing incident, Cooper has been relegated to working at the precinct’s evidence room. A glorified secretary.
Captain Emmett (John Carroll Lynch) calls Cooper to his office one day. She is being paired with US Marshall Jackson (Richard T. Jones) for a special assignment. A notorious drug cartel head, Vicente Cortez (Joaquín Cosio) has been arrested. One of Cortez’s former associates, Felipe Riva (Vincent Laresca), is planning to testify against him. Cooper and Jackson must pick up Felipe and his wife, Daniella (Sofia Vergara) and protect them until they can testify.
During the pickup, things go south. Cooper finds herself on the run with Daniella, hiding from both Cortez’s men and the police, as they have become fugitives. Now, Cooper must find a way to keep both of them alive and clear her name.
I wasn’t expecting much going into Hot Pursuit. And my expectations were pretty much right on.
Reese Witherspoon’s by-the-book Cooper is a bit annoying. It starts with overplaying the whole “no breaking the rules.” Of course, this is essential to her character, it is just too much. Worse than that is the Witherspoon’s Texan accent. It is grating on the ears. On top of that, it comes and goes throughout the film. She’ll have her thick southern drawl in one line, and the next, it’s completely gone. I would rather listen to Sofia Vergara talk for an hour and a half than sit through Witherspoon’s “accent.” That isn’t to say Sofia’s role was much better. I chalk a lot of the issue up to the script.
The supporting cast, including Jim Gaffigan and Robert Kazinsky, has such potential. Gaffigan’s scene is one of the funnier moments of the film. Sadly, both are underused.
Most of the jokes in the movie just don’t hit. There is a detailed explanation of periods, because apparently no men in Texas understand them. There are countless jokes about Reese Witherspoon’s height, which gets shorter with each news report. Sofia Vergara’s age also increases with each report. It seems like lazy writing. There’s even a floppy disk joke (Which is in no way sexual. It is an actual reference to a floppy disk.). How many people these days would even get this reference? That’s not to say the movie didn’t have its funny moments. I just wish there would have been more.
Hot Pursuit isn’t a terrible movie, it’s just not a good movie. It tries too hard to be funny, and instead, falls short. It would be fine as a RedBox rental, just not for a full price theater.