Buddy cop comedy is a great genre, but it’s one that’s fallen out of favor a bit in recent years. Historically dominated by male characters, recent releases have seen female buddy cop comedies hit the scene. Hot Pursuit is the latest of these releases, featuring a by the book cop who’s forced to deal with a hot tempered cartel wife. It’s a perfectly fine setup, but one that falls horribly flat thanks to a whole lot of bad writing and characters that are way too far over the top.
Reese Witherspoon plays the by the book cop in the film and if anything you have to give her credit to fully committing to this ridiculous character. She’s a tiny, insanely southern little woman, dedicated to following the rules no matter what. Her small stature is the basis for a huge amount of jokes in the movie, none of them funny. We get it, she’s small. By the tenth joke about her height it’s clear that the writers of this movie don’t have a gift for comedy.
Sofia Vergara plays the hot tempered cartel wife. I’m not sure what you’re supposed to think of this character. She’s mostly an awful person, who values money over all else and endlessly displays a lack of any morals. It’s hard to tell what’s supposed to be funny about her. The film makes a few cracks about her age, which seems weird because she doesn’t even remotely look old. Other than that, Vergara pretty much just prances around in high heels and tight clothes and uses her ample curves to distract various characters.
Another thing that really hurts this movie are the accents of the two lead actresses. It might sound silly, but when you can only understand about half of the dialog in a movie, then it’s tough to really enjoy it. Vergara’s always had a legitimately heavy accent, but she plays it up even more in Hot Pursuit. More annoying is the fake southern accent of Witherspoon, who sounds more like an inbred cave person than a southern woman. In a movie that’s pretty much nothing but these two characters talking to one another, having two incomprehensible accents is a huge negative.
What’s sad is the fact that both of these women have the talent to make a movie like this work. With some better characters and a script with some actual funny jokes in it, they really could’ve knocked this movie out of the park. But as is, this movie just makes them both look incredibly unfunny.
One way a movie like this could improve itself is by doing something different from the usual buddy comedy. Maybe a unique plot, or a twist ending, or maybe some high octane action scenes. Hot Pursuit has none of those things. The plot is as generic as it gets, following along the most obvious path at every single turn. The few action sequences in the movie are low quality and extremely short, giving the movie no real moments of danger or tension. When you add this together with the unfunny script you get a movie that has very little to offer.
There are a few chuckles in the movie, but with no chemistry between the characters, no originality to the plot, and a duo of overblown accents, there’s not much to love in Hot Pursuit. I appreciate the effort the two leads put in, but no amount of tryhard can save this movie.
ONE OUT OF FIVE STARS
This movie is rated PG-13 for sexual content, violence, language and some drug material