When I checked Rotten Tomatoes.com for reviews of “Hot Pursuit” prior to seeing it, I was a little nervous because it had at that time a six percent review rating, which was identical to that for “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” but unlike “PBMC” it had an amusing trailer. If you’re wondering if all the main jokes are in the trailer, the answer is “mostly,” but it’s still funny if you’re in the mood for non IQ-taxing entertainment. (My weekday afternoon audience was sparse, but virtually everyone giggled and howled throughout. They did not do this at any of the upcoming summer trailers, which is probably an indication that it was the movie itself that made them laugh.)
In the movie, Reese Witherspoon plays Cooper, a by-the-book cop, who has recently been demoted to desk duty because she tasered a civilian, which everyone in the movie finds hilarious except Reese and said civilian. She’s depressed because she feels she’s disgraced her father, who was also a cop and got killed in the line of duty. When her boss gives her a chance to redeem herself, she jumps at the chance, even if it means she has to escort the uppity Sofia Vergara, so she can testify against a man who killed her brother, although she would much prefer to shoot him herself. While Sofia is packing her enormous suitcase full of shoes and other accessories, two gunmen burst in downstairs and kill her husband. One of the masked man, like most of the secondary characters in the movie, has a double digit IQ, so he neglects to conceal his tattoo, which of course, Reese picks up on right away. Spoiler alert: several of the “good” people turn out to be bad instead, and this ends in Reese and Sofia being considered fugitives from the law and having to run for most of the movie.
Surprisingly, Reese and Sofia do not hit it off right away and snipe at each other nonstop in English, Spanish and heavily accented English. Sofia is still upset because of her brother’s death and does not appreciate being coerced into testifying. Both are constantly annoyed at being underestimated – Reese, because of her height and gender; and Sofia, because of her looks and her nationality. The two, however, slowly start to bond and confess their various issues, while undergoing such challenges as stealing a car that turns out to have a guy on probation with anger management issues (Robert Kazinsky), hiding from the perps dressed in a deer carcass, convincing a redneck who’s about to turn them in that they are actually lovers, and dealing with an accidental overdose of “baking powder.” They manage to stay a step ahead of their pursuers due to the other characters doing things like unwittingly helping them escape out a restroom window and leaving their keys in their car.
Eventually, the evil mastermind is killed, the rest are brought to justice, and Reese and Sofia become best friends. Reese gets a personality transplant, too and starts dating Robert, and everyone lives happily ever after. “Hot Pursuit,” has considerably less profanity than “The Heat,” another female cop buddy movie, and is almost as funny. As long as you’re not in the mood for an Oscar-bait type film.