Hot Pursuit

One’s straight and narrow. The other’s wild and exotic. When they’re not too busy fighting each other, they have to fight off the Colombian drug lords.

Sound cheesy? How about nacho cheesy? Here’s 5 questions about “Hot Pursuit.”

What’s it about?

An uptight by-the-book police officer (Reese Witherspoon) is assigned to escort a criminal’s wife (Sofia Vergara) across the state of Texas so that she can testify against the local drug lord. Of course, the drug lord doesn’t want her to reach her day in court so he sends a couple of goons to kill her. Imagine “Thelma and Louise” meets “Midnight Run.” Laughs are supposed to ensue.

hotpursuit1How funny is it?

Put it this way. Even with only an 87 minute running time, I was checking my watch. This movie is as generic as it gets. Witherspoon and Vergara have both been much better in other films but are hampered by a horrible, lazy script. Their characters are clichéd and unlikable, producing barely a chuckle. The movie isn’t horrible. It just shouldn’t exist.

Why does Sofia Vergara have to yell every single line?

I’ve watched a lot of TV’s “Modern Family,” and Vergara’s over-the-top line delivery is tolerable, if not entertaining, in small doses within the framework of the show’s huge cast. When asked to carry a film, she can get a bit grating. Vergara comes from the school of “the louder you yell, the bigger the laugh” and when it works, she reminds of you of Lucille Ball. When it doesn’t, she’s Charo. Witherspoon doesn’t come away clean either. Her Texas twang is a bit much to take too.

hotpursuit2Why is Reese Witherspoon slumming in this film?

Despite earning an Oscar nomination last year for “Wild,” it’s been a number of years since she’s had a mainstream hit. As a producer for the film, Witherspoon obviously thinks “Hot Pursuit” is the vehicle that will bring her back to the A-list. The film is nothing but quick cash grab.

Could this be one of the worst movies of the year?

While terribly boring and predictable and low on laughs, “Hot Pursuit” isn’t really offensively bad. No, that award still belongs to “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.”