An uptight FBI Special Agent is paired with a foul-mouthed Boston cop to take down a ruthless drug lord.An uptight FBI Special Agent is paired with a foul-mouthed Boston cop to take down a ruthless drug lord.An uptight FBI Special Agent is paired with a foul-mouthed Boston cop to take down a ruthless drug lord.
Their partnership begins with a tumultuous start as Mullins takes offence at Ashburn's decision to interrogate her witness without permission, and her territorial reaction results in a hilarious confrontation in her boss's office. Ever the career-minded professional, Ashburn recognizes the importance of the partnership to her potential promotion, and decides to make peace in order to track down a drug cartel boss. The pair storm through the neighbourhoods of Boston, leveraging on each other's strengths while reconciling their differences.
When opposites are presented to each other, they form a mirror for the each other's shortcomings, and perhaps part of the attraction comes from the patching of those gaps. In an attempt to bug a cartel member's mobile phone, Ashburn steps out of her comfort zone and strips down while Mullins provides the distraction in an entertaining scene at the club. Sure, they're not the hottest girls around, but they're the ones who've got all the attention. The stakes go up when Mullins' brother's involvement with the cartel puts her family at risk. The belligerent partnership metamorphoses into warm friendship as both women come to emphathise with each other's vulnerabilities. Even when the world is against them, both detectives are more than confident of holding their own and solving the case on their own terms.
The story's direction is completely predictable, but it is the script – down-to-earth, genuine and liberally dowsed in R-rated language – that boosts the movie, alongside the winning appeal of the two leads. As she's established before in her Miss Congeniality films, Bullock is witty, naturally droll and looks good with a gun. McCarthy combines hard-nosed physicality with dewy-eyed tenderness, creating a character you can empathise with and would want on your side of the ring in a fight.
A respected writer, producer and director, director Feig is perhaps best known for the massive 2011 box-office hit Bridesmaids. The female-led comedy raked in global earnings of US$300 million, established leading star Kristin Wiig as a bonafide comedy film star and introduced McCarthy as a capable comedian with a physicality that's absent among most Hollywood actresses. The story here tries hard to make you laugh, sometimes too hard (you can tell Bullock knows when to milk it when she's delivering a particularly amusing line), but also unexpectedly tugs at your heartstrings: Bullock and McCarthy share a good chemistry and their scenes together, in particular the improv-heavy ones in the bar, demonstrate the rapport between the two.
- Jun 27, 2013