The comically mismatched partners get the comedy-police treatment in The Heat, a movie continuing the trend obnoxious, gross, over-the-top humor starring women instead of men.  The Heat has two great leads, with everything else being forgettable or predictable.

The setup here is pretty simple.  Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is an ambitious, intelligent, successful by-the-book F.B.I. agent hoping for a promotion.  She's also uptight, alienates her co-workers, never curses, and has no social life.  (All of her personal photos are either her alone or with her neighbor's cat.)  Her chance at promotion comes with her new assignment -- going to Boston to arrest a drug dealer no one can identify -- and the chance to show she can work well with others.

Unfortunately for Ashburn, the Boston cop handling the case is Mullins (Melissa McCarthy), a profanity-spewing, play-by-her-own-rules battleaxe who terrorizes her squad and has no filter to her comments or violence.  Can the two work together to stop the bad guy?

The answer to that is as obvious as the rest of the movie.  Bullock and McCarthy are great together, and their polar-opposite characters have a nice chemistry.  Beyond that, though, everyone and everything else is just so much background noise.  The closest thing any of the supporting cast have to character development is Mullins' constant jokes about an albino agent; we also get such familiar scenes as an inappropriate family, getting drunk together in a bar, and quiet moments of bonding.

There are plenty of laughs from the stars in The Heat, but if you stop to think for just a second you'll see that there's almost nothing else worthwhile or original besides them.

Overall grade: B-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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