The Heat (2013)

the heat IMDb

This film is so against the norm, refreshingly so. Both of the leads are female and the film is R rated, but it is one of the funniest movies I have seen in a long time. Mostly due to the great chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.

Bullock plays Sarah Ashburn, an uptight by the book FBI agent hoping to get a promotion at her New York office. Ashburn is sent to Boston to uncover a drug ring and while there, she meets Shannon Mullins (McCarthy), a local cop who is none too happy about the FBI moving in on her case. Ashburn’s superiors decide she must work with Mullins to solve the case. How Mullins and Ashburn operate could not be more different, but they must work together if they want to solve the case. There may even be some sort of friendship forming by the time they are done.

This film is hilarious. I love seeing Melissa McCarthy being funny. She has been somewhat typecast in most of her roles as a loudmouth fat person, with the emphasis on fat. McCarthy is so much more than an amusing fat person, she is wasted on her sitcom Mike and Molly because all they do is make jokes about how big she is. McCarthy is better than that, and performances like this and her breakout role in Bridesmaids show that. I’m not saying you can’t make fat jokes, but they should not be the only thing she does. It gets boring and tiresome, so it is good to see her in a role here where her talents are put to good use.

McCarthy has terrific chemistry with Sandra Bullock. Sandy is great at playing the uptight neat freak, she has done it before with great success. Bullock and McCarthy work well together. I imagine this set would have been a lot of fun to be on because these two ladies come across as being really funny and great to work with.

The Heat is really funny. Making the leads female and the chemistry between Bullock and McCarthy elevate this above what would ordinarily have been a very generic buddy cop movie.

Rating: B

OK, I’ll admit it– the only reason I was interested in seeing The Heat was because it starred two women. If this were your typical buddy cop flick starring two men, I probably wouldn’t care about it. That premise has been done to death. Even a small change, like casting female leads, is a welcome switch.

In most regards The Heat is your standard buddy cop film. It’s predictable, action packed, and doesn’t have a lot of character development. However, it is helped tremendously by casting Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. With any other leads this probably wouldn’t have been as hilarious, but these ladies know what they do well and deliver it in every scene.

Bullock is the perfect straight woman, an uptight FBI agent who is married to the job. This is basically the same role she played in Miss Congeniality, but we are thankfully spared the magical makeover this time around. McCarthy is given the bulk of the jokes and physical humor. I guess this role is similar to her small part in Bridesmaids, but since McCarthy was hilarious in that I don’t mind seeing that character expanded here. These two have terrific chemistry, it’s a shame that Sandra Bullock has already nixed the idea of a sequel.

I also really appreciate that this is a R-rated comedy. So few good comedies are being made for adults, so it’s refreshing to find one that doesn’t try to pander to the PG-13 rating. My hat’s off to director Paul Feig. He sometimes seems like the only guy out there willing to make female driven comedies (he’s set to direct an all-women Ghostbusters reboot), and isn’t afraid of the R-rating (he also directed the smash hit Bridesmaids).

Rating: B+

2 thoughts on “The Heat (2013)

  1. Pingback: Miss Congeniality (2000) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

  2. Pingback: Top Ten 2015 | From The Abyss to Zoolander

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