Troop Beverly Hills, the 1989 cult comedy about duelling scout leaders, was more likable and believable than this similar amusement starring Melissa McCarthy and Peter Dinklage. A self-made millionaire (McCarthy), paroled from federal prison after serving time for insider trading, moves in with her long-suffering former assistant (Kristen Bell) and sees dollar signs in the woman's preteen daughter, whose troop is preparing for its annual cookie sale. Kristen Schaal is perfectly cast as the daughter's mousy troop leader, and Kathy Bates makes an inspired if too-brief cameo, but what might have been a razor-sharp satire is rendered mushy and dull by the patchy script, the sloppy editing, and Ben Falcone's limp direction. Dinklage is awful as the foppish villain, and aside from one uproarious, ad-libbed riff, McCarthy seems to be on autopilot.
By Leah Pickett