Movie Review: Hot Pursuit



With a flaccid storyline and a sluggish script, it is hard to say if Hot Pursuit is worth catching. The ideas of having sexy women expose some skin in tight fitting apparels makes for a good combination only if it is congruent with the storyline. Sadly, this action-comedy movie fails to achieve that.

Dedicated police officer Rose Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) is a rigid gal who’s a stickler for rules. Convicted of police brutality from a past jurisdictional overreaction, she has been demoted and assigned to the evidence room. It’s a far less glamorous job when measured up against her legendary father, a decorated and well-respected cop who was killed in the line of duty.

Reese Witherspoon

An opportunity arrives when her superiors assign her to protect a key witness under the Witness Protection Program, Daniella Riva (Sofia Vergara), who’s involved in a trial against the ruthless drug lord, Vicente Cortez (Joaquín Cosio). Keen to redeem herself, Rose sets off in hopes of surpassing her father.

However, the loud and cheerful Riva, who has a feisty wild side, hides an ulterior motive beneath her thick Colombian accent (which Sofia is known for). Riva wishes to avenge her brother, who was slain by Cortez.

Friction between Rose and Riva

Cooper escorts and protects Riva to deliver her to Dallas, the trial’s location, But corrupted officers and assassins chase them from the get-go at Riva’s mansion.

At this juncture, if you’re expecting big explosions and cars flying around, you’ll be disappointed. There are shootouts and chases (it is an action movie after all) but the overall execution is underwhelming.

This movie does, however, allow Witherspoon to loosen up and get silly, a refreshing perspective for an actress who has been defaulted to girl-next-door roles. Spoiler alert: There are some rather bizarre scenes that you’ll either love or loathe. This includes scenes such as a tour bus full of elders as the escape vehicle in a dangerous shootout and fake lesbian kisses to distract would-be aggressors.

A shootout in a bus full of elders

The flow and characterisation of Hot Pursuit has a relatively similar feel to that of 2013’s The Heat – two officers with two very different personalities but one common goal: bringing down a drug lord. The two leads in The Heat are much like Hot Pursuit’s, an unsuspecting and relentless duo. Was director Anne Fletcher re-creating this? That remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, the movie isn’t a flop. If there is one thing to look out for, it is the partnership between Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon. They have a unique relationship, dysfunctional yet understanding, making for one hell of a team. The energy, synergy and dynamic between the duos somewhat alleviates the lackluster movie.


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Release Date: 7 May 2015

Runtime: 88 minutes

Language: English

Censorship rating: NC16 – sexual references

Genre: Action/Comedy

Director: Anne Fletcher

Main Actors: Reese Witherspoon, Sofía Vergara, John Carroll Lynch, Robert Kazinsky, Michael Mosley, Richard T. Jones


Photos courtesy of Warner Brothers