In this 87-minute outing, that seems much longer and ends as if the production company ran out of money, Reese Witherspoon plays the overzealous, by-the-book, underutilized and undersized police officer who is trying to protect the wife (Sofia Vergara) of a drug boss who was set to testify against the cartel until something went wrong, and now the two are on the lamb. With this much talent and your standard Odd Couple premise; this film should have been a Midnight Run in more ways than one. It’s not.
The comedic gags are horribly contrived and the performances are one dimensional. You’ll see every plot turn coming a mile away and wonder how these two bankable stars thought this would be a good idea.
The theory here appears clear: Let Vegrara do what she does and give her someone talented to play off. The theory may be sound but the strength of Witherspoon is not playing the straight man, and director Anne Fletcher and writers David Feeney and John Quaintance offer no help with a script that is more awkward than the comedic chemistry between the stars. Yes, Vergara and Witherspoon are talented, but actually writing them some jokes should have been considered rather than just putting their names in lights and sucking money out of movie goers. The only laughs in this outing are supplied by the all-too-brief appearances of Jim Gaffigan as Red.
Johnny Depp in Mortdecai may be leading the race for worst film of 2015 but Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vagara are in Hot Pursuit, and, with Melissa McCarthy, who made The Heat with Sandra Bullock, which is almost as bad as Hot Pursuit, coming out with Spy in June and the previews for Pixels receiving groans in theatres across the U.S., the race is far from over.
Recommendation: There are plenty of great movies coming out this summer that will eventually be out on DVD and then on television. Hot Pursuit is going to be awful in any format.