HOT PURSUIT Victim of Drive-By Writing

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Hot Pursuit Reese Witherspoon Sofia Vergara Blu-ray

Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara forge an unlikely partnership in this cop film / buddy film / road trip film that goes off the rails almost immediately after the credits.

Witherspoon plays Officer Rose Cooper, whom we see grow up in the back seat of her father's patrol car. This upbringing has made her a rather intense person with a complete knowledge of the codes and regulations, but not much in the way of social interaction. In summation, she's a female Barney Fife, working a desk. For reasons that defy even the plot, she's selected to accompany a detective to bring in a Federal witness to testify, so that she can accompany the witness's wife, Daniella Riva (Vergara).

Before they even leave the mansion, however, the place is invaded by a pair of Hispanic hitmen and a pair of masked hitmen. Yes, that's four, neither team expecting the other. The detective is dead. The witness is dead. Cooper and Riva run for their lives. Hilarity is meant to ensue.

It's not so much that the story is predictable, and the comedy scenes are slapstick. HOT PURSUIT is completely ruined by lazy plotting -- a victim of drive-by writing. In several places, our duo get into a spot, get out from the heat... but are still in a spot, and we're not going to see how they get out of it. The writers just jump to the next scene, and you the viewer get to fill in the blanks in your mind. That's all well and good for some media, but it falls flat in film.

The Blu-ray release of HOT PURSUIT includes a behind-the-scenes feature called, "The Womance" which is supposed to highlight how funny Witherspoon and Vergara are on the set. And, in fact, they kind of are -- funnier than their characters, at least. There's also a bit where Witherspoon is speaking Spanish while Vergara is speaking English, meant to highlight how difficult it was for them to speak each other's native language. Finally, there's a gag reel and an alternate ending which is a montage of "where are they now" scenes of the various characters in the film.

To be fair, Witherspoon and Vergara have had their share of comedic acting, and they've both excelled at it. Ultimately, these are two fine actors who got saddled with a poorly executed plot.

2.5 / 5.0