It’s hard to fault ‘Hot Pursuit’ for shamelessly chasing the all-female buddy movie success of ‘The Heat’. But did it have to do it so lazily? Reece Witherspoon is Cooper, a dweebish Texas cop whose itchy trigger finger on the taser has landed her with a desk job as a glorified secretary.
That is, until she’s assigned to escort Daniella (Sofia Vergara) from her mansion to a courtroom, where the South American fashionista is scheduled to testify against the ruthless drug baron who employed her husband. The pickup goes awry and the women suddenly find themselves speeding away in a convertible, two different teams of armed killers on their tail.
One of them is short and the other one is Colombian – that’s pretty much all there is to this comedy, which ought to have premiered directly on seat-back airplane televisions where it’s destined to spend the better part of its existence. Bouncing from one tired sitcom set-up to the next, the film is completely bereft of energy.
Still, Vergara – essentially playing the ‘Modern Family’ character that she’s turned into a brand – seems to be having enough fun for all of us. As for Witherspoon, it’s easy to forget that the ‘Election’ and ‘Legally Blonde’ star built a career on the strength of her comedy chops. ‘Hot Pursuit’ feels like her first day in the field.