We’ve Recreated The Plot Of ‘Hot Pursuit’ Using Quotes From Scathing Reviews

As soon as I saw the poster for Hot Pursuit (opening tomorrow!) I knew I probably would not be devoting 90 minutes to it. Looking like The Heat meets The Nanny, the tagline might as well have been “Hot Pursuit: This movie isn’t for you, Vince Mancini.” I’m okay with that, and in fact it gives me the chance to indulge in one of my favorite activities, recreating an entire movie plot using nothing but summary grafs from reviews. Critics tend to descend into long stretches of summary when watching a movie that doesn’t feel worthy of analyzing, and anyway, hearing a critic describe a bad movie is usually much more fun than watching that movie.


Reese Witherspoon plays an uptight, low-ranking San Antonio police officer named Cooper. (AP)

(the fact that nobody ever refers to her by her first name is kind of a “character point”) (

who scares off her dinner dates she meets on a Christian dating site with her intense personality. (NY Daily News/TheDissolve)

and who recites police codes to calm herself down. (The Dissolve)

From an opening montage we learn that Cooper was born into the world of policing. She seems to have had a permanent spot in the back of her dad’s squad car. When we meet her as an adult, she’s a humorless compendium of penal code numbers. (USA Today)

In her first major assignment since accidentally tasering a teenager (AP)

having misinterpreted a teenager’s call of “Shotgun!” to imply he was packing a lethal weapon (USA Today)

and set him afire (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

landing her in a desk job. Her name has been turned into a verb: You’ve been “Coopered.” (AZ Central)

But her love of rules and rigidity is why (NY Daily News)

she’s sent with a partner to protect a drug lord set to testify in court, along with his wife, Daniella (Vergara). (AP)

Daniella is just as dysfunctional in her own Mob wife way. Weighed down by all kinds of baggage — literal and metaphoric — she shrilly dismisses Cooper as “teeny-tiny, like a little dog I can put in my purse.” (USA Today)

Daniella’s husband is a bookkeeper for a vicious mobster. She’s needed in Dallas to testify with her hubby against his murderous boss. (NY Daily News)

Just as they are leaving, Danielle’s house is ambushed and her husband and Cooper’s police partner are killed, making the two terrified women fugitives from these murderous drug dealers. (Film Journal)

The reasons Cooper and Daniella go on the run (in a classic Cadillac) could probably be cleared up with a brief phone call, so the film struggles mightily and clumsily to ensure that doesn’t happen. (ScreenCrush/The Dissolve)

They make an odd couple. (AP)

The straight-laced Cooper, who calls cars “vehicles” and breasts the “chestal area,” clashes from the start with the feisty Riva who insists on dragging along a heavy bag of shoes wherever they go. (AZ Central)

As the two navigate the Texas countryside, they survive by exploiting the sexist underestimations of their male pursuers and those that get in their way. (AP)

They distract easy-to-dupe men with excuses of “lady business” or by kissing each other. There are incredulous running gags about Vergara’s age and Witherspoon’s supposed homeliness. (AP)

First Cooper loses her radio, then Daniella loses her phone. Then their car randomly overheats, they lose another phone, and their stalled car is conveniently struck by an out-of-control truck. (ScreenCrush)

All the cocaine that happened to be hidden inside flies everywhere, and onto Reese Witherspoon, who gets to act like she’s high for a couple minutes. (ScreenCrush)

Her tense, anxious personality kicks into hyperdrive during what amounts to a shopping spree through a backwoods mercantile. (Paste Magazine)

Whenever a TV report pops up, it describes Cooper as shorter and Riva as older than the time before. (AZ Central)

Jokes about Witherspoon’s height abound. Vergara’s accent gets accentuated. (USA Today)

a gag about Cooper having a mustache (USA Today)

a tour bus full of oldsters, a hot escaped con (NY Daily News)

a man shooting off his own finger and the subsequent fear that his dog may have eaten it (Film Journal)

But the dog didn’t eat the finger, somehow Daniella has the finger in her hand, which they trade to Red for their freedom. (Uproxx)

At one point, they have to hide in a deerskin to evade police (ScreenCrush)

Cooper is unable to drive and dial 911 at the same time, so she hands the phone to Daniella, who promptly drops it out of a moving car. (Paste Magazine)

The women, trapped in a truck stop restroom as assassins close in, struggle to climb out of a high window in a clumsily edited, embarrassingly unfunny bit of slapstick. (Chicago Daily Herald)

plenty of prattling and yelling goes on (USA Today)

yelling. A lot of yelling. (The Dissolve)

exchanging nasty insults in Spanish (Film Journal)

countless tired shootouts and chases (NY Daily News)

shrill screaming matches and goofy costumes (ScreenCrush)

Mike Birbiglia shows up in one scene (Uproxx)

Catfight on a hotel bed while “Black Betty” blares on the soundtrack (The Dissolve)

and the centerpiece, a supposedly way-titillating kissing scene between the actresses when, to get out of a jam, they pretend to be lesbians (Film Journal)

to seduce a redneck (Jim Gaffigan) who found them on his property. (ScreenCrush)

For the most part, it’s just the same odd couple facing trouble in scene after scene and working together to get their way out of it. (AZ Central)

The movie ends with what’s essentially an admission of guilt: end credit outtakes. (Screen Crush)

All in all, sounds pretty mediocre. But women not being able to drive good seems like fertile ground for humor, and I especially like the mental image of a screenwriter writing “And then they have to pretend to be a deer.”