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To be frank, I wasn’t initially keen on seeing this movie since I’m not a big action movie fan. But, with AMC having this trailer in damn near every movie and with me being a fan of Sandra Bullock’s movies, and someone who respects the physical comedy and the way Melissa McCarthy seems to embody her characters, I decided to give this movie a chance – thank god!
In the film, I found myself looking at Bullock and McCarthy and having Ms. Congeniality in the back of my head, albeit since that is probably the last cop film I know of that starred a woman as the lead. With that said, Bullock plays Sarah Ashburn who, like Gracie Hart, is an n FBI agent. The two are similar, but Ashburn is far more by the book than Hart and the only thing they really share is how uncomfortable and awkward they are outside of their profession. Ashburn has little understanding of social niceties and is married to her job. As for McCarthy’s Shannon Mullins, she may share Hart’s way of doing whatever it takes, but really you can’t put McCarthy’s Mullins into the same picture as Gracie Hart. Mullins is a classic McCarthy character who is comfortable with themselves and really doesn’t give a damn about what anyone thinks unless she thinks of you as a friend or family member. And in my opinion, McCarthy really puts Bullock into her shadow. I mean seriously, McCarthy really could have did this movie alone and I think the lack of Bullock wouldn’t have hurt it outside of having someone to balance McCarthy out.
Going into the story: Like with all buddy cop films there is someone selling drugs and the cops are trying to stop them. We have Ashburn who just came off a big case in catching the Red Fall’s killer and is looking to be promoted, then we have Mullins who is a F— the book type of cop who just wants to get results. The two end up clashing when Ashburn is sent to Boston to catch a Russian Drug Dealer Larkin (who I won’t spoil). At first, they are at odds with each other since neither wants a partner and wants all the credit for the catch; however, since Ashburn is looking for a promotion from her boss, she is forced to work with Mullins to get the job done. From there we see their styles of police work conflict and McCarthy continuously brings the laughs as she tries her best to make light of working with the straight-laced Ashburn. During their time together, we learn about their lives like how Ashburn seemingly works hard because she has nothing but three boxes of stuff, and that is it. Also, we learn she at times kidnaps her neighbor’s cat for company, but outside of that cat, and a flirtatious relationship with Levy (played by Marlon Wayans) all she has is her job. As for Mullins, she has a very active life since she works, lives and gets play from the neighborhood which leads to many out there and comedic moments.
This leads me to talking about the beauty of the film: McCarthy is seriously a hilarious woman and screenwriter Katie Dippold really deserves some type of award for her script. Like with This is The End I decided to count how many laughs I just couldn’t hold back and it hit 61. Focusing on Dippold’s script, I love the balance in it when it comes to action, the drama of the character’s lives, and the comedy. I really don’t think any film like this, which is traditionally two men, has ever really provided the perfect balance of us getting to know the characters on a personal level, making us laugh, and there being a lot of action. I mean, this to me should be considered a classic comedy for it focuses on some of the key things comedy should do: Help make you laugh about sorry situations, and provide social commentary for the world you live in. And though I mostly am praising McCarthy’s talent and Dippold’s writing, Bullock is also a valued member. With films like these, I realize you have to recognize that someone has to be the straight man during the madness, and Bullock plays the “voice of reason” well. I have to say, though, a part of me didn’t want the film to end. I wanted this to be a mini-series and this just the pilot or hell, make it a full blown series.
With that said, though, I think the only real issue I can even come up with, and it is sort of petty, is some of the jokes could be seen as offensive. At the same time it is rated R, and to think a Rated R comedy won’t offend you or be a bit crude and malicious at times is a bit naive.
Overall: Go See It
This has to be one of the best comedy films I’ve seen; but, the best thing about the film is that it isn’t solely a comedy but has a nice bit of action, which by the way includes head shots and Bullock getting stabbed in the leg. Also, it has heart and that is what is missing from a lot of comedy films. But, what Dippold does well is not drowning us in the character’s personal lives but giving us appetizers throughout the movie, a scene with the main course, and outside of that we have the story going, jokes flying about and lots of action. I mean, this film I think has universal appeal and will definitely get you laughing to the point you are crossing your fingers for a sequel.