Hot Pursuit

Posted on May 7, 2015 at 5:51 pm

Copyright 2015 MGM
Copyright 2015 MGM

Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon are both talented, beautiful actresses with savvy business acumen and strong entrepreneurial energy. Witherspoon’s accolades in 2014 included more than a Best Actress Oscar nomination for “Wild.” She also produced it, and another Oscar-nominated film, “Gone Girl.” Both Witherspoon and Vergara produced the vastly less ambitious “Hot Pursuit,” a high-concept, low-octane road movie filled with chases and shrieking that cannot disguise the soul-numbing vacuousness of its screenplay.

Our fun couple consists of Cooper (her first name is a who-cares third act reveal), a by-the-book, second-generation cop played by Witherspoon, and Mrs. Riva, the wife (and very quickly, widow) of a Colombian drug dealer, with ethnic attributes less subtle than Charo crossed with the Frito Bandito. She keeps hanging on to her roller bag filled with sparkly stilettos.

Cooper has a lot to prove when she gets her first chance in the field after a mishap involving the tasering of a teenager who yelled “Shotgun” because he wanted the front passenger seat in a car. When Riva and her husband need police escorts to court so they can testify against the big drug kingpin, Cooper gets assigned to Mrs. Riva. But before they can leave the Riva’s home, two different sets of assassins show up, one pair masked.

I wonder if they will turn out to be people Cooper did not realize were untrustworthy! We haven’t seen that before!

Cooper and Mrs. Riva are very different people with very different views of the world and very different goals. The one goal that they share is not getting killed. After an APB is issued for their capture, they go on the run, arguing, hiding out, stealing, abandoning, and crashing vehicles, and all kinds of exhausting and unfunny hijinks.

It is particularly disappointing that this movie was produced and directed by women. If men foisted so many lazy jokes about Vergara’s lush figure on an audience looking for a little light entertainment, we’d decry them for sexism. Well, if the sparkly shoe fits….

Parents should know that this film includes crime and law enforcement violence, with characters injured and killed, peril, chases, explosions, drugs and drug dealing, strong language, sexual references, and some gender and sexual humor.

Family discussion: Does this movie make fun of stereotypes or perpetuate them? When did the characters’ views about each other change?

If you like this, try: “Outrageous Fortune” and “Midnight Run”

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Action/Adventure Comedy Crime
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