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'Hot Pursuit' is a waste of talented cast
Sofia Vergara as Daniella Riva and Reese Witherspoon as Cooper in the comedy "Hot Pursuit." - photo by Doug Wright
As I watched the new film Hot Pursuit, I had to remind myself that Reese Witherspoon was nominated for an Academy Award just last year for her performance in Wild. Then I recalled the 2005 Oscar for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in Walk the Line.

Then my focus returned to this gifted actress starring as Cooper, a bumbling, by-the-book police officer assigned to transport witnesses to help bring down an infamous drug lord.

I think I audibly sighed.

Now, dont get me wrong. I love Witherspoon in lighter fare. Im a big fan of Sweet Home Alabama, for example. But "Hot Pursuit" just isnt very good.

Sofia Vergara is the other half of what ends up being an odd-couple duo forced to rely on each other to survive. And in fairness, there are some funny moments that actually work.

Vergara stars as the very sexy Daniella Riva, half of the husband-and-wife duo scheduled to testify in Dallas. The law requires that a female officer escort her, but thats easier said than done. Before Cooper and her male partner can even get the reluctant and paranoid witnesses out of their house, two sets of hitmen take out Daniellas husband and kill Coopers partner.

What to do? Cooper tries to stay calm and carries on kind of.

What follows is a cross-country odyssey that feels like its coast-to-coast, but in reality were dealing with what should have been a relatively short three-hour drive. If this were a stereotypical guy partnership, Id describe the sketchy and crass comedy as tree house humor. Since its a female partnership, Im not sure what term to use, but the principal is the same. Far too often the laughs rely on sexual or bodily function subject matter.

Too bad. Both of these actresses are above that.

The plot is paint by numbers with very little that is original. Expect corruption and youll get it. Expect double crosses and youll get it. Expect a great movie and youd better buy a different ticket.

Im sounding like a Grinch, but when you have this kind of talent and these results, its disappointing.

Hot Pursuit gets a generous 2 stars and is rated PG-13.