A laugh could die of loneliness in this shrill, slapstick buddy farce that takes the form of a Texas road trip. Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, their proven comic gifts gone MIA, huff and puff strenuously to keep this house of clichéd cards from going down. No chance.
Forget a critique, what Hot Pursuit needs is an autopsy. The victims of this accident, misdirected by Anne Fletcher (The Guilt Trip) from a desperately trite script by TV writers David Feeney (New Girl) and John Quaintance (Undateable), are audiences. The two stars got themselves into this pickle by actually producing it. Witherspoon plays Cooper, a by-the-book San Antonio cop tasked with getting Daniella (Vergara), a drug dealer’s wife, to Dallas so she can testify against even bigger baddies than her soon executed husband. The alleged fun is meant to come from watching the odd couple — tightassed Cooper and bombshell Daniella — rank each other out, Daniella in Vergara’s patented broken English. It’s all stupefyingly unfunny. Hot Pursuit is one hot mess.