Sofia and Reese Team for “Hot Pursuit
By Skip Sheffield
Laurel & Hardy. Abbott & Costello. Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance. Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon?
Yes, Sophia and Reese are the latest cinematic comedy buddy team in “Hot Pursuit.” I feared this script by David Feeney (“New Girl”) and John Quaintance (“Ben & Kate”) would be formulaic and lame. I was sort of right, but “Hot Pursuit” gets by on the pure chemistry of two mismatched, very pretty women who seem to be having fun.
Vergara and Witherspoon are both listed as producers of the Warner Brothers film, so they have a vested interest. On physical contrast alone they are a funny sight. Witherspoon, who claims to be 4-foot-11, is one of our tiniest, most white-bread movie stars. Voluptuous, well-endowed Columbian-born Vergara seems giant alongside Witherspoon, and she exaggerates her Spanish accent and Latina mannerisms to play the polar opposite to by-the-books San Antonio cop Witherspoon.
The story begins with a shootout that claims the life of Danielle Riva’s (Sofia Vergara) drug-dealing husband. Newbie Officer Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) is assigned to escort Mrs. Riva to Dallas so she can testify against another drug dealer named Cortez (Joaquin Cosio). Mrs. Riva is a pampered princess who insists on travelling with a large suitcase full of fancy shoes. We also learn Cortez killed her brother; her only close relative in America. You could say there is bad blood.
The guys are incidental. Most are bad (Matthew Del Negro’s Det. Hauser), but one is good (Robert Kazinsky’s decent ex-con, Randy).
The rest is the girls doing silly pratfalls and mad chases, including a cool one with a bus full of senior citizens. What? You were expecting Eugene O’Neill? At the risk of sounding sexist I’ll take these beautiful babes over bumbling bros. any day.