When I saw the previews for Hot Pursuit, I was really hoping for a buddy comedy along the lines of 21 Jump Street. Instead, what I got was a humorous take on the Madonna and the Whore, and I have to say, I was not laughing. In fact, I might have flipped off the screen more than once. I was not surprised to see this script was written by two men. What did surprise me was that those men weren’t 13-year-old boys.
We meet the Madonna, i.e. Cooper (Reese Witherspoon). She’s an uptight, innocent cop whose been working in the evidence room ever since she tasered someone for no good reason. In order to break out of the evidence room, Cooper gladly takes an assignment escorting the Whore, i.e. Daniela Riva (Sofia Vergara) to Dallas. Riva is the widow of a high ranking drug kingpin. Of course, because they’re girls, there’s no way they can make a simple road trip without everything going wrong and the two are soon fugitives fleeing the law.
Then, they can only use their feminine wiles to stay one step ahead of the bad guys coming to get them. These wiles include lots of menstruation jokes, girls making out, cat fights and a few granny panty scenes. I have to say, I was a bit surprised that there were no pillow fights or mud wrestling.
The characters in this film are one note jokes and people laughed at them, not with them. Cooper is chatty, twangy and irritating in a way I haven’t seen since Raising Arizona, but not in a good way. Vergara is a sexpot with a suitcase full of expensive shoes and a stereotypical Columbian temper.
The thing is it’s not impossible to do a female-centric comedy without resorting to stupid, tired stereotypes. Movies like Bridesmaids and The Heat pulled it off, so why not this one? This feels like a comedy written about women, for men. You get to look at a couple of bumbling girls, who’d rather drag a suitcase of shoes with them than live, and you get to laugh at them as you mutter “it’s so true. Bitches be trippin.”
The thing is both Witherspoon and Vergara are excellent comedic actresses. They’re genuinely funny women but this script was something less. They did what they could with it, but the situations they were put in didn’t allow them to step out of the boxes they were placed in. As a result, the huge amount of money they probably paid those two actresses went to complete waste.
Women can be funny without being stereotypes. The writers of this script don’t seem to get that. While there were a few laughs, including the trunk full of cocaine and the deer carcass scene, most of them were just bad.
I wouldn’t waste my money in the theater on this one. Despite some strong star power, the script falls flat because it’s weighed down with stereotypes. While it might be good for a guilty chuckle from the privacy of your home, it’s not worth the watch in the theater.
WE GAVE IT: 2.5 Stars