Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy work so well together, you wonder why someone didn't get them to team up before. Here Bullock plays uptight, by-the-book FBI agent Ashburn (a character not a million miles away from the one she played in Miss Congeniality) coerced by her boss to partner with a maverick Boston cop, Mullins (McCarthy) to catch a drug lord.
They are chalk and cheese and initially rub each other up the wrong way, Ashburn a stickler for rules, Mullins the human dynamo who wants results yesterday. But we know it's only a matter of time before they realise they can work together. Both are women working in a man's world. Ashburn is the know-it-all who infuriates all her colleagues with her need to be right about everything. Meanwhile, Mullins is a bull in a china shop who leaves a trail of mayhem wherever she goes.
The Heat is all about female empowerment, even down to its soundtrack, but there's plenty that will make both sexes laugh here - even if the male body count is high (perhaps a deliberate attempt to counter the misogyny is so many other movies).
Bullock and McCarthy are ably supported by a host of players among them Marlon Wayans playing Bullock's potential love interest (perhaps the writer is saving that for the next instalment) and there's a cameo from McCarthy real-life husband Ben Falcone as one of her many spurned lovers (a running joke throughout the film). Indeed, it's pleasantly surprising to see just how inclusive this film is.
With a script by Parks & Recreation writer Katie Dippold, there are some great one-liners. Cornered by a criminal gang, Mullins asks, "Are you and her engaged?". "Because you just gave me a ring!" Bullock retorts, brandishing the pulled ring on a hand grenade.
Bullock and McCarthy both excel at physical comedy and Bullock is generous enough a performer to allow McCarthy free rein. I can't imagine someone like Tom Cruise doing the same thing. Apparently, the sequel has already been given the greenlight - and deservedly so. This is easily the funniest film I've seen all year.