Hot Pursuit (2015)

(Video on Demand, August 2015) Viewer!  Hey, viewer!  Did you know that Sofia Vergara’s persona is a beautiful fiery high-class woman with a shrill Spanish accent?  Knowing this, and being able to rely on Reese Witherspoon as the straight-woman of the duo, you can now write about two-third of the jokes in Hot Pursuit, a crime comedy built almost entirely around Vergara’s ability to deliver what she does best.  It’s not a bad film, but it’s obviously formula-driven to a distracting point.  It’s a good thing that Vergara and Witherspoon have an easy chemistry, otherwise the film would fall flat.  But they do, and the film flies highest when both are engaged in physical comedy of some sort, either falling outside windows or vamping it up for unsuspecting supporting characters.  There’s a pleasant rhythm to it, and it’s undemanding enough not to be disappointing in the right frame of mind.  It probably could have been a bit tighter, a bit funnier and a bit wittier, but the point of the film is to showcase its two lead actresses, and anything that allows this objective to be fulfilled is good enough.  I usually find Witherspoon unremarkable and Vergara annoying –so it’s a mark of Hot Pursuit’s success that I actually found both of them likable in their own way.  Still, there’s no use denying the domination of the film by its own formula –if you’re looking for something off-beat, then keep going.

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