Miss Congeniality shows up The Other Guys in this riotously funny buddy-cop comedy, which overcomes its silly script with the ingenious pairing of Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. The plot is essentially a flimsy framework on which to hang a series of nutty set pieces, but they're so hilarious that we don't mind at all.

Bullock plays Ashburn, an FBI agent who endangers her upcoming promotion by being too obsessively efficient and showing up the boys. Her boss (Bichir) thinks she could use some new scenery, so sends her to Boston to find a drug kingpin. But she quickly encroaches on the turf of local detective Mullins (McCarthy), whose outside-the-box methods have deeply intimidated her frazzled chief (Wilson). As they investigate the same case, Ashburn and Mullins clash badly before they realise that they really should be working together. But neither is willing to relinquish even a tiny bit of control.

It's hard to remember the last time two over-40 actresses were allowed to play such lively characters. Bullock and McCarthy have a fantastic snap of chemistry on-screen, as they improvise much of their hysterical interaction. This is a terrific combination of Bullock's fearless slapstick physicality and McCarthy's stinging humour. They're a lot funnier when they're at each others' throats than when they're working together, although even then they use deadpan humour to play on their differences. And in another clever flip of the genre, the male actors all have thankless roles around the edges of the story.

Continue reading: The Heat Review