Combining various formulas is nothing new in Hollywood and the new film “Hot Pursuit”, tries very hard to be successful at doing so but has mixed results. The film stars Reese Witherspoon as Cooper, a police office in San Antonio who is trying to grow into the shoes her late father left behind. The fact that he was not only a great cop, but that Cooper is fairly small in stature has caused her to overcompensate through the years. So much so that she has had an epic blunder named after her and is relegated to the evidence room of her station. Cooper is a by the book cop whose social skills are very lacking as is proven by a recent dating disaster. Cooper is given the chance to redeem herself by travelling to escort the wife of a money launderer to court so they can both testify against a notorious drug lord.
When Cooper first meets her assignment Daniella (Sofia Vergera), they do not mix at all. Daniella is annoyed by Cooper’s by the book attitude and Cooper sees her task as nothing more than escorting a gold digging criminal to Dallas. When things go very wrong, the two end up framed and on the run with only each other for company and support. Naturally the duo begin to thaw to one another and there are a few good laughs along the way as they race to clear their names and stay ahead of the dangerous people chasing after them. The film has some fun moments, but the formula of the film can become a bit familiar.
We have seen this played out in numerous road trip and buddy cop segments so many times before that there is very little in the way of drama or surprise moments with the script. Witherspoon does well with her role and does take it away from being overly one dimensional but the jokes run a bit thin after a while. Vergera is good in small doses for me as she is very much the Charo of this generation. I am still wondering if she has been typecast in these shrill roles or if she is simply playing herself, but the over the top performance and her voice works better for me in smaller doses in Modern Family than it does over a full length feature. That being said, the two work well with one another and their scene with Jim Gaffigan is one of the funnier moments of the film. The pacing of the film is brisk, as Director Anne Fletcher has made a film that moves nicely and does not overstay its welcome. The biggest issue is a feeling that we have seen this all many times before and often in better movies, so despite the best efforts of those involved, this is one that never really gels the way that you would want a film to. 2 stars out of 5.