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
Vincente Cortez (Joaquin Cosio) has orchestrated over a hundred hits as the notorious kingpin of a drug cartel terrorizing Texas. However, he’s always beaten the rap, because the prime witnesses invariably disappear mysteriously before they have a chance to testify.
Therefore, the authorities decide to take special precautions with the Rivas, the Cortez confederates set to turn state’s evidence in the latest case against him. But then, when the police escort arrives to place them in the Witness Protection Program, the husband perishes in an ambush, while his widow Daniella (Sofia Vergara) and a policewoman (Reese Witherspoon) barely escape with their lives in a hail of bullets.
As the two drive away in the Rivas’ classic Cadillac convertible, they figure out that they’ve been targeted not only by vicious mobsters but by crooked cops to boot. So, with no one but each other to lean on, the officer and outlaw grudgingly join forces to survive the drive to a safe sanctuary in Dallas.
Of course, sharing space proves easier said than done, given how they’re polar opposites in almost every way. Daniella is a striking, statuesque chatterbox as compared to Cooper’s relatively plain, diminutive and straitlaced presence. Nevertheless, the pair gradually bond over the course of a rollicking road trip where they have a close brush with death every five miles or so.
Directed by Anne Fletcher (The Proposal), Hot Pursuit is a mindless diversion chock-full of the staples of the unlikely-buddies genre, like car chases, and accidental drug use. Though the action romp fails to break cinematic ground, it certainly provides enough laughs to recommend, most coming courtesy of the over-enunciating, larger-than-life Vergara at the expense of co-star Witherspoon in her capacity as a straight man.
Sofia successfully stakes her claim as the heir apparent of Brazilian bombshell Carmen Miranda. All she needs now is a fruit-filled sombrero.