Sofía Vergara is built like an amphora, a living testament to the form ceramicists throughout the centuries have adored. In the fleet and gloriously ridiculous comedy Hot Pursuit, Vergara plays Daniella Riva, a mobster's wife who needs to be escorted from San Antonio to Dallas, where she'll testify against the head of a major drug cartel. Uptight, by-the-book police officer Rose Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) has the job of getting her there safely, only to learn that crooked cops are hot on their trail. On the lam in Riva's red convertible, they dash into a roadside convenience store to buy new outfits, pose as traveling veterinarians, and circumvent a police roadblock by disguising themselves as a deer in the wild. As one does while on the lam.
The flagrant silliness of Hot Pursuit is a plus, not a liability. Directed by Anne Fletcher -- whose last picture was the underloved but therapeutically ingenious Seth Rogen–Barbra Streisand comedy The Guilt Trip -- Hot Pursuit is a quiet triumph of tone and timing. Nearly every scene is cut at just the right point, often topped off with a fantastic kicker of dialogue.
It's one thing for a character to laugh at herself; it's another for her to present herself as a pathetic, adorable creature in a lowball bid for laughs. You might think Witherspoon's peeking out from beneath a deer's head unduly compromises her dignity, but there's actually something ludicrously refreshing about it. She seems unafraid to cut loose, and she and Vergara make a terrific team.