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Plot Details: This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Trooper Cooper and diva Riva intensify Texas

Hot Pursuit (2015) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Texas female police officer Rose Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) is given a second chance to redeem her family name on her “first day back in the field” by escorting cartel accountant's wife Daniella Riva (Sofía Vergara) from San Antonio to Dallas where she's slated to testify against drug kingpin Vicente Cortez (Joaquín Cosio). Other people have other ideas, though, so the two of them must form an unlikely alliance with each other in order to survive. When their intense person­alities clash, it's hard to maintain a low profile, especially after being framed and ending up fugitives. A dirty super coopered Trooper Cooper's frame, and diva Riva believes another is to blame. It might start making sense were the women less intense. Bombastic back­ground rap drives the perilous drive.


“Hot Pursuit” very obviously happens in the Bible Belt. Cooper is shown dating “a guy I met on Christian Mingle.” Riva pauses the action to offer an elaborate prayer. A “Christian” holding them at gun­point maimed himself for being distracted by their overt Lesbian act. He clearly had violated the sermon on the mount: (Matt. 5:28) “who­so­­ever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath com­mit­ted adultery with her already in his heart.” He then recovered per the next point, (Matt. 5:30) “And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee.” If Cooper embodies scripture (“You're too by-the-book”), Riva prayer, and the self-injured man penance, then penance holding prayer & scripture hostage is—in the context of a comedy—a subtle play on a priest assigning to the penitent: x Hail Mary's and y Our Father's, being prayers from scripture. This prepares us to see another troika addressing Protestants.

Protestants are more into Bibles than into priests. When Cooper leaves Riva hand­cuffed to a bed in a motel, she offers her a Gideon's Bible, saying, “Here, read a book.” Riva demurs saying she's read its ending. The Bible ends with a prohibition against adding to (Rev. 22:18) or sub­tracting from (Rev. 22:19) its words. When Cooper and Riva must hoof it past a road­block, disguised as a deer, they try making deer noises but sound more like a horse. The scene is silly but it's protracted as they try and reject various sounds. It was a misin­terpre­tation of the word ‘shotgun’ that had sparked an incident landing Cooper (and the police dept.) in trouble, Cooper then being demoted to the evidence desk (as “a glorified secretary.”) Her name became synonymous with disaster (“I thought you were an urban myth.”) The way this movie is going concerns Protestants who rely on their Bible, who would not dare change what it says, but as the English language has changed over the years leading to misunder­standings of some of its words and new meanings for others, new trans­lations were effected that incident­ally changed meanings here and there.

This situation is addressed metaphorically—as we'd say 'I like Dickens' meaning we like his works—in (Eccl. 4:13-14) “Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.” The “king” being the dominating form of English Bibles today trans­lated from more recently discovered manu­scripts gotten from forgotten monasteries, libraries, clay pots, wherever, like a king emerging from a musty prison, and the earlier, more native English in the King James Version (KJV) becoming poor through diminished use, the spate of new trans­lations came along to displace the old. How­ever, per the passage above, the loyal Christian who sticks to the wisdom in his KJV is better off than the one who uncritic­ally accepts the new version(s).

Rose Cooper is first shown learning police jargon sitting in the back of her daddy's patrol cruiser when she was a girl. She (in a metaphor) represents that early English of the KJV. The drug kingpin who won't remain in custody long—the witnesses keep dying—represents that king who came out of prison, the versions from newly discovered manuscripts. The police who are clan­des­tinely on his side represent the clergy who promote the new versions. Riva, of course, represents prayer.

The final three-way Mexican standoff that the whole movie builds up to represents Christian Bible study, modelled after early-Christian meetings where then it was the prophets who brought them the word of God (2Cor. 2:14), and they had to (on a limited basis) take turns speaking while the others judged the quality of the message. Now various Bible trans­lations should be similarly gone through in our meetings, including the comparison of the KJV to the new one(s) where appropriate. What enables us to peace­fully pursue such a course is the prayer before the study, modelled on (Mark 11:25-26) “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Necessarily, the Christians bear no grudge either against the KJV for sounding so dated or against the modern version(s) for being so pathetic, so we may sort it out peace­fully. I'm not sure if in practice it always works that way. In “Hot Pursuit” Riva (who represents prayer) had vengeance in mind, against Cortez and against Cooper. It's this tension that makes the denoue­ment so poignant.

My explanation is convoluted, but the steps are all there, although it's subtle. Hey, this isn't a theological dissertation, just a movie review of a comedy that has real-life roots, at least in the Bible Belt.

Production Values

Hot Pursuit” was directed by Anne Fletcher. It was written by David Feeney and John Quaintance. The film stars Reese Wither­spoon and Sofía Vergara. These hot leading ladies generate some good chemistry together. Matthew Del Negro & Michael Mosley are good portraying Det. Hauser & Det. Dixon, respectively. Robert Kazinsky is great as Randy. Joaquín Cosio & John Carroll Lynch look good as Vicente Cortez & Captain Emmett, respectively. Jim Gaffigan does an awesome short role as Red. The supporting characters did just fine.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for sexual content, violence, language (“mf” in rap music) and some drug material. It was filmed in New Orleans, LA, USA. It's an intense 1½ hours long. The music was kinda peppy and fit well with the plot, thank you Christopher Beck.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This film has it all: a good story, non-stop entertainment, multi-faceted comedy, marvelous acting and exquisite direction. I highly recommend it, except, of course, for impressionable young­sters viewing it on their own. It turned out a lot better than the fluff I had expected.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall product rating: Four and a half stars out of five.