McCarthy (left) and Bullock deserve better.
THE HEAT (Paul Feig). 117 minutes. Opens Friday (June 28). For venues and times, see listings. Rating: NN
Melissa McCarthy re-teams with her Bridesmaids director Paul Feig in The Heat, but without scribe Kristen Wiig the duo can't generate the same hilarious results as their first outing.
McCarthy plays haggard Boston PD Detective Mullins, who's paired with Sandra Bullock's stiff, smarty-pants FBI Agent Ashburn to take down a drug boss who's stacking up kills.
With a screenplay so childish it might as well have been written in Crayola, The Heat is at its best when it simply gives McCarthy room to improvise. The tremendously talented actor has a gift for abusive ramblings that combine meticulous threats, unique vocal rhythms and nuanced obscenities.
McCarthy makes the F-word sing, eventually inspiring Bullock - who spends most of the movie watching her co-star in astonishment - to find the same glory in the mother of all curse words.
The rest of the film isn't as much fun, relying on the typical grab bag of gags, some marginally funny, others simply dumb and offensive.
As in previous McCarthy films, there are scenes where men fall head over heels for her. If these moments are meant to be funny (they are not), the joke is based purely on the actor's physique, which is unfortunate given how much she brings to the table otherwise.
She - and we - deserve better.