Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon – currently in the running for the Best Actress Oscar for Wild – and four-time Golden Globe nominee Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) are joining forces for a project that, well, looks and sounds a fair deal less prestigious by comparison. The movie in question is Hot Pursuit, an action-comedy formerly titled Don’t Mess with Texas and directed by Anne Fletcher (The Proposal, The Guilt Trip).

Witherspoon stars in Hot Pursuit as a Texan police officer who’s as by the book as they come, when she’s assigned to protect the wife (Vergara) of a drug boss, who will serve as a key witness in the trial for a bigger, and badder, drug kingpin. No surprise, keeping Vergara safe proves easier said than done, and soon she and Witherspoon are on the run, with many a dirty-dealing cop and dangerous criminal henchman in… well, see the film’s title.

Hot Pursuit was scripted by David Feeney and John Quaintance: a pair of screenwriters who come primarily the world of TV comedy writing, having contributed to such programs as Ben and Kate, According to Jim, 2 Broke Girls, and Joey over the years, between the pair of them. The humor in the trailer very much has a sitcom flavor to it – complete with running jokes that, frankly, seem strained to sustain just this two-minute preview (the bits about Witherspoon’s height and Vergara’s age), much less a feature-length movie.

On the other hand, Witherspoon and Vergara reads as being a potentially funny mismatched buddy duo, and Hot Pursuit very much appears to pit their respective screen personas (Witherspoon the straight-arrow, Vergara being saucy and outspoken) against one another. Whether the pair have decent material to draw inspiration from, well, that seems doubtful. Fletcher’s directorial style doesn’t seem to be anything that special, either.

hot pursuit reese witherspoon sofia vergara Hot Pursuit Trailer: Reese Witherspoon & Sofia Vergara On the Run

Early prognosis: Hot Pursuit seems closer to Ride Along than The Heat, on the quality scale of fairly recent buddy action-comedies. Avengers: Age of Ultron will be entering its second weekend playing in U.S. theaters when Witherspoon and Vergara’s movie arrives on the scene, so the latter might find do well as counter-programming at the box office. Otherwise, this one doesn’t exactly look like a winner.

Rounding out the cast of Hot Pursuit are such character actors as John Carroll Lynch (American Horror Story: Freak Show), Robert Kazinsky (Pacific Rim), Richard T. Jones (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), and Matthew Del Negro (Teen Wolf, Mistresses).

Hot Pursuit opens in U.S. theaters on May 8th, 2015.

Source: Warner Bros.

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