Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Rose Cooper was destined to be a police officer. The daughter of one of the city’s finest, she spent her young days riding along with her dad. In the back of the car. Whether it was to be dropped off at school or heading to the prom, Rose saw the world from behind the plexiglass safety of a patrol car. We find her now working in the evidence room, more glorified secretary that law officer, thanks to an unfortunate incident in the field which is forever known as “being Coopered.” Kind of like being “Munsoned” in “King Pin.” However, when a high ranking member of a drug cartel and his wife agree to become witnesses for the state, Rose, because the law demands it, is sent to travel with the wife. Sounds like an easy job, right?
A hilarious mixture of “The Defiant Ones” and “Midnight Run,” “Hot Pursuit” is a film that lets Reese Witherspoon, an Oscar on her mantle for playing June Carter not withstanding, do what she does best: comedy. With her “by the book” attitude and Tennessee twang, her Rose could be a close cousin of Sandra Bullock’s Sarah Ashburn from “The Heat.” Paired up with, and against, the statuesque Vergara as drug wife Daniella Riva, Witherspoon is at the top of her comedic game here. If you’re a fan of television’s “Modern Family” (guilty) then you’re already familiar with Vergara’s broad comedy chops. The Columbian actress uses them well here, though finds a few scenes to do some real emoting as well.
The script, by David Feeney and John Quaintance, has great fun with both Witherspoon and Vergara and their comedy styles. A running gag, after Rose and Daniella begun to run, is that the paper and news sources continually get their descriptions wrong, with Rose growing shorter and Daniella growing older. And of course, Daniella’s massacre of the English language (“who do you tink you are, Terlock Holmes?”). These ladies are amateur bad guys but top notch comediennes and I hope Hollywood finds a way to put them back together again soon.