What happens when you combine a by-the-book cop and a drug boss’s wife depends on who’s writing it. Hot Pursuit starring Reese Witherspoon as Rose Cooper and Sofía Vergara as Daniella Riva, is written by David Feeney and John Quaintance. What seemed like a female empowered cast and director is degraded by the male dominated sexist jokes that are obvious and lazy.
We’re introduced to Cooper at a young age via a montage of her growing up in the back of her dad’s patrol car learning the ropes. As an adult she is now living in the shadows of her highly respected dad who passed away. She’s a fountain of knowledge when it comes to procedures and finds it hard to steer from protocol. This makes it hard for others to relate to her. She’s also living with a mistake where she accidentally tasered a kid because she didn’t know “shotgun” is a term used to sit in the front seat of a car. Every time someone makes a dumb mistake it’s labeled as a “Cooper”, making her feel like she tarnished her dads name.
Cooper is finally given an assignment outside of desk duty in which she’s to guard the wife of Felipe Riva (Vincent Laresca): a drug dealer who’s agreed to testify against his recently incarcerated boss, Vicente Cortez (Joaquín Cosio). Another officer is assigned to the case but its pointed out that they need a female to monitor his wife due to gender etiquette. The contrast between her and Danielle Riva is immediately introduced with shoes. Cooper asks her why she’s spending so much time packing shoes especially impractical ones. Riva criticizes Cooper’s “man shoes”. Most scenes contain the same lame joke within a different variable. Riva tells her she should dress up, stop trying to emulate her dad and be more feminine. Cooper tells her she’s shallow and they go back and forth on each other’s accents. There are boob, lesbian, period, boy, and short jokes.
Cooper and Riva use cramps to talk there way out of a car with corrupt cops. Cooper calculates the timing and distance they had to travel after her call in for help. The cops end up being the ones that shot up Riva’s place and killed her husband moments before. Yet, the thought of cleaning up “period” blood in their backseat is enough to persuade them to let them out. They manage to escape outside a bathroom window.
Riva is trying to get away from Cooper by sneaking herself on a tour bus. Cooper manages to catch her on time but the bad guys end up finding them. A shootout ensues between them, the corrupt cops and another pair of men. The scene involves them driving together while handcuffed. One can see their potential as a duo as this moment provides a couple of chuckles. Once stopped and handcuff free, Rivas handcuffs Cooper to the bus and leaves to kill the man that killed her brother. She had hired the mysterious men to fake her kidnapping. Cooper tries to persuade her to trust the law instead, even after corrupt cops killed her husband.
Vergara has a tough and sexy presence when she finally confronts the drug lord that killed her brother. However, this is not the females are funny and rock movie that comes across in the promotions. The two actresses are good together but the script didn’t give them much of a range to flex their comedic talent. You’ll laugh a little but its not enough to make you not want the rest of your minutes back. It would be nice to see these two again with a more solid script.
Starring: Reese Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara
Directed by: Anne Fletcher
Written by: David Feeney and John Quaintance
MPAA rating: PG-13
Running time: 87 min