Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara bring the laughs in the road comedy Hot Pursuit. Despite the familiar plot and several clichés, the film manages to keep you laughing thanks to the great chemistry of the two talented actresses.
Directed by Anne Fletcher (The Proposal and The Guilt Trip) from a screenplay by David Feeney and John Quaintance (Material Girls), Hot Pursuit sees Witherspoon and Vergara joined by Richard T. Jones, John Carroll Lynch, Matthew Del Negro, and Michael Mosley.
The film opens with the introduction of Rose Cooper (Witherspoon) – who was destined to be a cop thanks to her dad and her upbringing in the back of his squad car. Despite her father’s stellar reputation as a police officer, Rose has had a rocky career as a member of the San Antonio Police Department. Since she accidentally caught a suspect on fire while arresting him, Rose has been on restricted assignment, but is given the opportunity to shine when she is reassigned to work as an escort for a female witness.
Due to police regulations, Rose is able to join Deputy US Marshal Jackson as he takes a cartel informant named Felipe Riva (Vincent Laresca) and his wife Daniella (Vergara) to testify in Dallas. Naturally, everything goes wrong, and Rose is soon on the run with Daniella – who is beyond high maintenance and doesn’t trust Rose. The two women hit the road trying to avoid the police; the dirty cops that are trying to kill them; and a pair of mysterious hitman who may not be what they seem.
Although the film moves at a predictable pace and the jokes all seem a little too familiar, Hot Pursuit manages to be funny thanks to the performances of Witherspoon and Vergara. The two have great chemistry and help sell every silly scenario the film throws at them.
Witherspoon is basically playing her Legally Blonde doe-eyed character, but brings the laughs with the way she is like a “bull in a china shop” with everything she does. Even a blind date sees her chasing the guy down and practically tackling him to see why he tried to escape her. Her act gets a tad tedious from time to time, but she is funny enough to keep you enjoying the film.
Vergara seems to be borrowing from her Modern Family character, but, like Witherspoon, makes the performance help some of the staleness of the film. She knows how to make her accent work for her, and it is a blast watching her use her looks to manipulate a situation – such as when the pair get caught trying to steal a truck.
On Blu-ray, the film comes loaded with bonus material that takes you into the making of the film, and shows how much fun went into bringing it to the screen. There is also a funny gag reel and alternate ending.
Hot Pursuit is the kind of comedy that just requires the audience to turn their brains off and enjoy the silliness. Witherspoon and Vergara make a great comedy duo and the film will keep you laughing from start to finish.