It takes Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock some time to warm to each other in this buddy-cop comedy but when they do, they give a hint of the comedy that made director Paul Feig's previous film, Bridesmaids, so hilarious.
As far as cop comedies go, The Heat doesn't have an original premise to work with. In fact the only thing new is the observation that Sandra Bullock in a pair of aviator sunglasses looks a lot like Michael Jackson - seriously, it's uncanny.
Otherwise, we're in familiar territory, with an uptight FBI agent and loner (Bullock) and a streetwise aggressive cop (McCarthy), who need to find a way to work together to track down a drug lord in Boston.
The girls spend the front of the film bickering, but when it becomes apparent they can no longer trust anyone in their units, they go rogue and they're a lot more fun working together.
Some of the laughs come from unexpected places, such as Thomas F Wilson, whose local police captain - an albino with a high, squeaky voice and unchecked emotions - is a ridiculous, hilarious scene-stealer.
The Heat fluctuates between black comedy, feel-good comedy and action film, and doesn't settle comfortably in any genre during its long duration.
It's about more than female empowerment, there's enough foul language, crass jokes, car chases and explosions to appeal to a broad audience - and somewhere in all this there's even a case to solve.
The material might not be as good as Bullock and McCarthy - who work a little harder than everyone else - deserve, but their chemistry is good.
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy
Director: Paul Feig
Running Time: 117 mins
Rating: R13 (Violence, offensive language & sexual references)
Verdict: Takes too long to get rolling, but the laughs come eventually.