<b>DUD-Y COMEDY:</b>  Sofía Vergara (left) plays a drug boss’s wife opposite Reese Witherspoon as her police escort in the cliché-ridden <i>Hot Pursuit</i>.

DUD-Y COMEDY: Sofía Vergara (left) plays a drug boss’s wife opposite Reese Witherspoon as her police escort in the cliché-ridden Hot Pursuit.

Hot Pursuit Is a Cold Fish

Reese Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara Star in this Cliché Buddy Film

Let’s get this out of the way: Hot Pursuit is not a great movie. It’s not even a very good movie. In fact, it might be kind of a terrible movie. That said, it’s a film not without merit.

It’s hard to make a great movie from derivative beginnings, and the odd-couple female-buddy crime comedy has “The Heat Copycat” written all over it. This is a shame because the mismatched duo in question is Reese Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara, an Academy Award winner and a television comedy juggernaut, respectively. They deserve better than a cheap imitation.

In Hot Pursuit, both Witherspoon and Vergara play to type. Witherspoon is Cooper, a by-the-book police officer straight out of the Reese Witherspoon Playbook of Type-A Characters, chained to a desk and desperate to get back out into the field. Vergara is Daniella Riva, the materialistic wife of a drug boss who uses her sexuality like Cooper uses her Taser gun. Cooper is assigned to help transport Riva to Dallas, where she will be a key witness in the trial against a drug kingpin, but when a series of masked baddies descend and murder Cooper’s partner and Riva’s husband, the women are forced to go on the lam.

What follows is a series of car chases, clumsy escapes, and multiple costume changes. And, of course, the cop and the femme fatale eventually become besties. This would all work if the movie respected the intelligence of its characters (and the intelligence of its audience). Instead, these women aren’t nearly as smart as they should be, and with its sloppy plotting and never-ending parade of clichés, it’s clear this movie does not believe its viewers are all that bright either. There are honest moments, laugh-out-loud jokes, and genuinely thrilling bits of action peppered throughout the film. It’s unfortunate that the solid bits have to compete so hard against the overwhelming mess. There is a good film inside this second-rate movie. It’s just too bad that, this time, mediocrity won out.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Have a Thorny Saturday with the Rose Society

Annual Mission Rose Garden Pruning takes place January 19; volunteer invited to bring shears and gloves.

Edison Company Counter-Sues County and City

Claims they were aware of risks underlying original lawsuit.

Man on the Run Hits Car and Two People

Driving away from attempt to serve felony warrant, injures woman and child, say police.

Heroin Dealer Sentenced to 12 Years

Oxnard resident will serve time for heroin sales in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, among other charges.

New York Times,’ and Many Others, Name S.B. a Top Travel Destination

'AFAR,' 'Travel + Leisure,' and 'Conde Nast' all feature the region for 2019 trips.