A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hot Pursuit is primarily an odd-couple buddy road-trip comedy, though it does have some violence, given the subject matter (a cop protects a woman who could be a witness against a drug lord). Gunfights results in deaths (non gory), and there are car chases/crashes and fights. Expect some sexual innuendo, as well as kissing, a bra-clad woman undressing, and a naked man getting out of the shower (no graphic nudity shown in either case). The two stars (Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara) exchange a kiss with the intent of distracting a man, and there are plenty of jokes about their relative body shapes and sex appeal, as well as some humor based in Latina stereotypes. Strong language includes "s--t" and "bitch," and there's some drinking by adults; a main character also accidentally gets high (played for humor).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
A drug lord is up for trial, and Officer Cooper (Reese Witherspoon), who rarely sees any action outside the evidence room, is finally invited to join the big time when she's asked to guard mobster's wife Daniella Riva (Sofia Vergara), who's entering the witness protection program and testifying against the cartel. But soon he's gunned down, along with the U.S. marshal assigned to protect him, leaving Cooper as the sole cop guarding Riva's life. As it turns out, allies don't appear to be allies, and enemies aren't easily identified. Against their wishes, the two women will have to rely on each other to survive.
Is it any good?
Though Witherspoon and Vergara have enough charisma to power through any calamity -- and the kind of rapport that's crucial to a buddy comedy -- they simply can't save it from being boring. The script holds no originality or surprises; in fact, it's so uninspired that it's almost offensive: Do we really still need period jokes? And is a woman's inability to get a date still to be attributed to her square-ness? Props for trying, but ho-hum. Witherspoon and Vergara deserve better.
Talk to your kids about ...
This is a female-driven buddy comedy. Is there anything different about the dynamic between the two women compared to how men's "bromances" tend to be portrayed in other films?
Families can talk about whether Hot Pursuit plays into issues related to body image and stereotyping. Is it OK for the two main characters to point out each other's perceived flaws because they're both women? What if a man was doing it? What's the ultimate message to viewers?
What role does violence play in the story? Do the gunfights and car crashes have less impact because the movie is a comedy?