What's up with Reese Witherspoon? Honestly? Let's wind the clocks back a year. Witherspoon was in serious contention for a Best Actress Oscar for the haunting, inspiring Wild. She was also responsible for getting Gone Girl off the ground. She also had an engaging supporting role in Inherent Vice as well. Flash forward to 2015 and she's working with the director of 27 Dresses in a pretty tepid, by-the-numbers action comedy.
Witherspoon is Officer Cooper, an uptight cop in Texas whose bungling ways have landed her in the dead-end Evidence Room. However, she's given a way out when a Colombian drug lord's wife (Sofia Vergara) and her husband agree to testify in exchange for Witness Protection. Does this not sound vaguely like Midnight Run? And was that not a rip-off of Identity Thief? Yes to all of these.
From the get-go, it's painfully clear that Hot Pursuit just isn't funny. The first twenty minutes sees Reese Witherspoon chase a man she's on a date with a gun (whom she met on ChristianMingle.com) and joke about police incompetence when she set a college student on fire with a tazer gun. Witherspoon can be funny. This is documented in Legally Blonde, American Psycho and, to some degree, Inherent Vice. Of course, for all these well-loved movies, there's your This Means War, Sweet Home Alabama and Four Christmases. Hot Pursuit, sadly, is in this grouping.
Sofia Vergara gives a completely one-note performance as the wailing gangster wife, effectively burning away any good-will left over from Modern Family. In fact, she's essentially riffing on her character from Modern Family here and doesn't even offer up anything in the way of variety. The film rests on the interplay between Witherspoon and Vergara, which is non-existent. It's clear that neither of them are on a similar wavelength in terms of how to play it and the comedy itself is so beige, tame and forgettable that nothing sticks together.
What you're left with is an unoriginal comedy that's not a comedy.