Starring: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Marlon Wayans, Jane Curtain, Erika Derrickson, Thomas F. Wilson, Kaitlin Olson (Rated MA – 117 min).
Enjoyment of this buddy female cop comedy will be based on tolerance and ability to handle constant forms of profanity. So crude at times, viewers could be insulted with the multitude of overweight jokes really pushing the limit of decorum. On the other hand, the director of ‘Bridesmaids’ Paul Feig, knows how to shock and lets his breakout star of that hit film, Melissa McCarthy, rip.
Funny in parts, this cliché ridden caper only works thanks to the chemistry of the leads as good cop / bad cop. Playing a similar obnoxious personality to her role in the recent ‘Identity Thief’, McCarthy is the bad, Mullins. She relishes physically abusing suspects while verbally abusing everybody else, including her superiors. Adorable as ever, Sandra Bullock is the good, Ashburn. Uptight but likable, her life changes dramatically upon being partnered with her complete opposite. Of course they do not like each other, then they bond, followed by quieter moments of personalities transpiring to trust and watching each other’s back on an all important assignment. That’s about it for the story with out of control absurdities being the focus here and unexpected violence, which is not always played for laughs.
Colourful language is nothing new on the beat, think ‘Beverly Hills Cop’, but the menagerie of foul language on display here is not exactly suited for a school holiday audience. One scene in particular concerning a night of drinking games proves my point. Ashburn has staunch restraint in situations unraveling around her while Mullins goes for the jugular head on with zero inhibition. I’m sure when the director yelled cut, the pair kept riffing as the camera kept rolling, Bullock and McCarthy don’t hold back.
Looking effortlessly glamorous at the Sydney premiere, Bullock told me she picked the script because of the strong female characters. And she thought working with McCarthy was an ‘event’ from day one and really enjoyed the physical aspects of action/comedy. She also mentioned her Best Actress Oscar is currently in bubble-wrap as her house is being renovated. If you think the police chief looks familiar, that’s because it’s Biff from ‘Back to the Future, Thomas F. Wilson in a rare supporting role. Watch out for an odd cameo by Kaitlin Olson, from one of my favourite trashy movies of all time, Coyote Ugly.
Shane A. Bassett