R, 117 minutes. Stonington, Lisbon, Westbrook.
Give it up for Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. You'll never see them work harder at comedy than in "The Heat," a stumbling, aggressively loud and profane cop buddy picture where they struggle to wring "funny" out of a script that isn't. Plot? It's more a collection of scenes that force the stars to riff and riff until something coarse and amusing comes out, topped by something else coarser and more amusing. Instructions must have read, "Sandy and Melissa go to a dance club, where Melissa hacks off chunks of Sandy's costume to make her 'sexy.'" Or "Melissa and Sandy get drunk in a bar and line dance." Better still, "Our intrepid, mismatched 'buddies' are tied up by the bad guys and turn a simple leg stabbing into a comic escape attempt." Bullock, finally back to making the sorts of "Miss Congeniality" dogs she was doing before "The Blind Side," is the know-it-all overly-coiffed F.B.I. agent Ashburn - a Miss Priss none of her fellow agents like. She is sent to Boston, ostensibly to prep for a promotion. Mainly, it's to get her out of the hair of her boss (Demian Bichir). That's where Ashburn runs afoul of the foul-mouthed detective Mullins (McCarthy), a shambling train wreck of the American junk food diet run amok. Ashburn, who has been a bit of a Bullock in a china shop up to now, has met her menacing, mouthy match.
- Roger Moore, McClatchy