may be the most tragic blunder since Pryzbylewski gunned down that plainclothes cop in Season 3 of The Wire
. Despite the combined talents of Bridesmaids
director Paul Feig, Parks and Recreation
writer Katie Dippold and go-for-broke star Melissa McCarthy, the few jokes that hit their mark are severely overshadowed by the film’s lousy rap sheet. After rushing to team up Ashburn (Sandra Bullock), a buttoned-down FBI control freak, with Mullins (McCarthy), a borderline-feral Boston police detective, the action-comedy sets them off in lukewarm pursuit of a shadowy drug lord. With the film barely feigning interest in its own slapdash plot, it quickly devolves into a succession of scenes intended to reinforce that Ashburn is extremely strait-laced while Mullins is incredibly slovenly. You can watch McCarthy and Bullock bounce off each other for only so long before the effect becomes about as amusing as staring at a Newton’s cradle. In terms of meeting its “buddy cop” requirements, The Heat
is content to go through the paces, and Feig tends to become overly enamored with his stars, allowing them to riff for far too long. McCarthy is a nimble actor, but—as in the abysmal Identity Thief
—she’s reduced here to strictly a blunt-force weapon. Asking her to do little more than hurl f-bombs is just a crime.