Two people, one car, and what do we get? Lots of trouble! I’ve examined the road trip comedy before as at least two or three of these movies are released every year. We get a lot of these road trip movies all the time because this is something we have all gone through; the long stretch that never seems to end, the music that eventually becomes monotonous and the fact your going to loathe the people your riding with. Our transportation technology may have changed but the concept of a car trip has and will never go out of style. This is why we end up finding so much material for comedic possibilities.
What makes thins kind of story work is what kind of pairing that is going to be tackled upon. With movies like Vacation and We’re the Millers, we’ve had a typical family. With The Guilt Trip and Sideways, we have groups of friends. Even with Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Smokey and the Bandit, we set with people that hate each other from the start. All of these movies were able to develop dialogue that made the situation funny. All of these would be better road trip movies to watch then the astonishingly bad Hot Pursuit.
Our set up here is a cop and her criminal. This should have been easy.
Rose Cooper (played by Reese Witherspoon) is a uptight police officer in Texas who is by the book and refuses to put up with any shenanigans. She’s so commited to the job that wears her uniform almost everywhere. After a previous assignment gets her downgraded in the office, she’s given a chance to redeem herself by going with another officer to escort the wife of a Mexican drug lord. In comes the other side of the duo, Daniella (played by Sofia Vergara).
Daniella is wealthy and materialistic, and treats her escort like another vacation. She’s being taken to Dallas to testify against her brother-in-law, Cortez. Before everyone can leave, gangsters working for the Drug lord arrive to kill everyone. Rose and Daniella manage to escape, though they are without a car and help from other officers, as Rose discovers she and Daniella are now wanted for murders they did not commit. They change clothes at a gas station and set out to Dallas where they hope to clear their name, and just maybe, become friends in the process.
Hot pursuit has a funny idea for a road trip movie but falls to the biggest problem of certain comedies; they’re not funny. Many of the jokes that happen range from gross menstruation monologues to crude suggestions of Reese Witherspoon having a mustache. This is something that I expect from an Adam Sandler comedy and not something with Reese Witherspoon who I know to be much more sophisticated. Sophia Vergara is one of the funniest women on television, but comes off more like that annoying yapping Chihuahua that you want to put down before it barks one more time.
Midnight Run is the best example on how to pull off a road trip comedy involving a cop and his criminal. That movie knew hoe to play the strengths of their players and put them into situations that a lot of people have faced. Hot Pursuit does not even come close to it. It was stupid, immature, idiotic, and even demeaning for women. It’s strange to say that I would recommend Mad Max Fury Road over Hot Pursuit for women, but the latter knows how to be a feminist story much better. If anything, Hot Pursuit has set back women another fifty years.
I’ll give this half a broken heel out of five. All that I can say is, “Shame on you Reese Witherspoon! Your better then this”.