Hot Pursuit Parent Review
To be fair, the film has some funny moments involving Witherspoon and Vergara. But even they can't compensate for this hot mess.
Reese Witherspoon is the kind of petite, perky actress you expect to see in romantic comedies like Legally Blonde, Just Like Heaven, Sweet Home Alabama or This Means War. But her CV also includes dramas like The Good Lie, Water for Elephants, Mud and Rendition , as well as bio-pics like Walk the Line and Wild.
However after her Oscar nomination for Wild in 2015, her appearance in the movie Hot Pursuit is a definite return to the sillier side for Witherspoon. In it, she plays uptight police officer Cooper who has been relegated to the evidence room in the basement of the station after mistakenly starting a teen on fire with a Taser. Then one day she is called into the Captain’s (John Carroll Lynch) office and given a new assignment. Her job is to escort the Latino diva Daniella Riva (Sofía Vergara) to a court appearance in Dallas.
Unfortunately these women are about as opposite as they can be. Cooper is dutiful, driven and a little bit dull. She’s a by-the-books officer who performers her job to the letter. Daniella lets it all hang out (in more ways than one). She loves pretty clothes, has a bit of a temper and doesn’t mind using her assets to her advantage. To make things more difficult for Cooper, Daniella fears for her life and isn’t at all interested in going to Dallas to testify.
The result is a ridiculous road trip movie filled with far-fetched scenarios and constant bickering between the women as they try to outrun the thugs who want to kill the witness. Along the way, they slowly begin to appreciate one another and build a friendship. That may be the only thing that keeps this movie from being a complete and utter disaster.
When it comes to content concerns, Hot Pursuit has some of everything. Vergara’s partially exposed cleavage gets plenty of screen time, as do the sexually suggestive jokes about lesbians, anatomy and sexual acts. The script features at least two-dozen profanities including a couple partial uses of a strong sexual expletive. There’s some drinking and a scene where several characters get high after being dusted with a coating of “baking powder” following a car accident. There are guns. There are Tasers. There are car crashes and lawbreakers, dirty cops and more dirty cops. And by the end of the movie even the good cop is becoming less diligent about keeping the rules.
To be fair, the film has some funny moments involving the two actresses, who seem to be enjoying themselves—at least some of the time. But those moments are too few and way too far between. Instead the storyline is packed with stereotypical depictions of Texans, Latinos and police officers that eat doughnuts, take bribes and make condescending comments to their fellow female co-workers. Unfortunately even the ebullient Witherspoon and the alluring Vergara can’t compensate for that hot mess.Directed by Anne Fletcher. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Sofía Vergara, John Carroll Lynch, Michael Mosley. Running time: 87 minutes. Updated May 13, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Hot Pursuit here.
Hot Pursuit Parents Guide
Note: This movie has also been known as Untitled Reese Witherspoon/Sofia Vergara Comedy and Don’t Mess With Texas”.
Talk about the movie with your family…
Why does Daniella accuse a man of racial profiling? What is racial profiling? Along with ethnic jokes, how does the script make fun of size, age, sexual orientation and religion?
What challenges do prosecutors face when dealing with drug cartels? Why does Daniella feel that she needs to exact her own justice?
This is a movie that features characters that are complete opposite. What other movies can you think of where opposites learn to work together and become friends?