Uptight police woman Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) has police work running through her veins, having grown up with her cop father teaching her everything she knows. Her by-the-book approach to policing has landed her behind a desk for most of her career, but all that changes when she is assigned the task of escorting a cartel informant’s wife, Daniella Riva (Sofía Vergara), safely to Dallas before her husband testifies against notorious cartel ringleader Cortez (Joaquin Cosio).
But things go horribly wrong when a gang of gunmen show up at the Riva’s home, killing Daniella’s husband and Cooper’s partner and forcing the pair of women to flee the scene together. Now on the run from a dangerous killers and corrupt cops, the pair must sort out their differences and work together if they’re going to make it to Dallas alive.
While it’s nice to see a pair of strong lady actors in the driving seat of Hot Pursuit, unfortunately this film doesn’t give them much to work with. With an unoriginal plot riddled with chase and gun-fight scenes that have preposterous “near-misses”, and a limp and clumsy screenplay, these A-list actors are given no chance to shine. While Witherspoon tries her best at comedic timing, the material she is given rarely allows her to illicit the laughs she is probably capable of, and Vergara has been written as the same obnoxious and difficult-to-understand Colombian woman we have seen her play out time and time again. While she did get a chance to show off some of her real acting chops in the film’s more serious scenes, there weren’t nearly enough of these to justify a ‘good’ performance.
With all that considered, Hot Pursuit turns into a bit of a hot mess. More twists and turns are added as the film progresses, making this already unlikely story too far fetched to handle, and it never really find its footing in terms of the humour, which centres mainly around period jokes and lesbian gags. There’s a bit of slapstick intermingled with a few more emotional scenes, but it never really comes together coherently, and the result is a film that’s confused, chaotic and not very funny.