Cop and Mob Widow in Road Comedy
Vincente Cortez, played by Joaquin Cosio, is the notorious kingpin of a drug cartel. Cortez has terrorized Texas by orchestrating more than one hundred hits on his enemies or people who got in his way. In court, he always beats the rap, because prime witnesses invariably disappear before they can testify.
The authorities get hold of the Rivas, two of Cortez’ confederates. They have agreed to to turn state’s evidence in the latest case against Cortez. When a police escort arrives to take Rivas into Witness Protection, they are ambushed. The husband dies at the scene, but his wife Daniella, played by Sofia Vergara, and a policewoman, played by Reese Witherspoon, barely escape with their lives in a hail of bullets.
The two women make their escape in Rivas’ classic Cadillac convertible. They realize they have been set up not only by the vicious mobsters and by crooked cops. With only themselves to rely on, the cop and the crook grudgingly join forces to survive the drive to a safe place in Dallas, Texas.
The two women are polar opposites. Besides Cooper being a cop and Rivas being an outlaw, Cooper is fairly plain, diminutive and straitlaced, Rivas is a striking, statuesque chatterbox.
It seems that it should be obvious they will not have an easy time of sharing a small space together. Even so, the to women bond over the course of the road trip where they have a close brush with death every five miles or so.
Hot Pursuit, directed by Anne Fletcher, is a mindless diversion, filled with the usual things we’ve come to expect in an unlikely-buddies genre, such as car chases, and accidental drug use. There are plenty of laughs throughout to make it interesting and worthwhile, but as an action romp it doesn’t break any new cinematic ground
The larger-than-life Rivas provides most of the fun at Cooper’s expense as she plays the “straight man.”
Sofia Vergara successfully stakes her claim as a replacement for Brazilian bombshell Carmen Miranda. To make it work, all she needs is a sombrero and fruit.
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated PG-13 for sexuality, profanity, violence and drug use
In English and Spanish with subtitles
Running time: 87 minutes
Distributor: Warner Brothers
Watch the Hot Pursuit trailer:
Out of 119 Rotten Tomatoes reviewers, only 8 liked it, and the overwhelming majority, 111, gave it a “rotten” rating.
Of the Rotten Tomatoes 34 top critics, Kelly Vance of East Bay Express liked it, but Christy Lemire of ChristyLemire.com did not.
Audiences didn’t completely agree with the critics, and with 16,159 responding, 45% liked it, and Hot Pursuit gained a rating of 3/5.