Directed by Anne Fletcher
Starring Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara
Two distinctly different women, one with criminal links and the other a cop, forced into a road trip that lasts two days and a night. Yes, Hot Pursuit is as predictable as that sounds, down to the guy they pick up along the way. However, it also has two completely un-self-conscious women brave enough to take on stereotypes. So even though the joke is apparently on them, we know who is having the last laugh.
Witherspoon, coming off her Oscar-nominated turn as producer and actor in Wild, is here a teeny cop burdened under the name and legacy of her police officer father. Credited as producer in Hot Pursuit too, she faces jokes about her height — 5′, 4’11” or 4’10” is it? — her lack of curves, and even her neglected upper lip. As the intimated, by-the-book Rose Cooper, Witherspoon gives it her all, including citing rules, numbers and her log book earnestly at every turn.
Vergara (also the executive producer) is Daniella Riva, the wife of a Colombian drug racketeer who is about to rat on the drug lord. When her husband is killed before the court hearing by some bad cops, Riva agrees to take off reluctantly with Cooper, but not without her stash of shiny stilettos and wedges. And that’s not the only thing gangster-moll like about her, as Cooper points out repeatedly.
As different as chalk and cheese, Cooper and Riva prove easy to track down, and so are constantly running from the bad cops and the bad guys. Among the things they do to get away is hitch rides, pretend to be lesbians, dress up as deer, and once ride a bus sitting on each other’s laps.
The comic timing of both these talented actors keep the laughs coming. That includes the time Witherspoon pulls herself to her full height and declares, “I am the minimum height required of a woman my BMI.” And when Vergara blasts a White guy brandishing a gun and doubting her claims of being a doctor with, “That’s rachel profiling.”
He is rendered speechless.