Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Heat - Review

Directed by: Paul Feig
Starring: Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock
Written by: Katie Dippold

Rating: 6.5/10

The archetypically good cop/incompetent cop buddy comedy has reached a new height with it's two entertaining female leads.

Buyer beware; this is nothing new.

It's exactly the same - if not slightly exaggerated - version of your typical buddy cop movie. The witty, antagonistic and pithy banter between two leads? Check. Ridiculous plot line involving many failed attempts at real policing and breaking laws? Check. And so on and so forth. In fact, it hits almost every buddy cop cliché in the book. That, in and of itself, makes it rather dull and tiring - as parts of this movie are. However, when McCarthy and Bullock get started, their comedy on screen chemistry cannot be doubted.

Using Bullock as the obvious foil and McCarthy as the eccentric and over the top and almost comically enraged joker is nothing short of your typical casting with type for this genre - but when the result is something magic. There were moments when it feels, somewhat like (but not in the same league) Lethal Weapon. 

McCarthy takes a turn as Shannon Mullins, a top Boston cop who does things her way. There's literally no other way - including abiding by departmental rules that she'll follow. She gets paired with the arrogant and everything-is-done-by-the-book FBI agent (Bullock).

The real problem lies not with it's entertainment value - it lies with the style of comedy. McCarthy's comedy (and in fact, Feig's direction) seems to want to ramp the vulgarity and outrageousness up to the bar set by the mismatched male couples. But where Lethal Weapon was truly funny because of those mismatched personality, a lot of the jokes The Heat rely on McCarthy's obscene sense of comedy - the joke involving the captain's balls is rather unfunny and drags out - which is a haunting feeling that returns several times throughout the film. Especially when she pulls a gun on a nurse - not McCarthy's funniest gag for sure. It's in her Mullins' character. Sure. But that character was too flawed from the get go.

The reason that this problem is so showing is because in those in-between moments, where it plays like the true mismatched police 'couple' going at it - they're brilliant. Bullock is a credible and well timed foil. McCarthy pulls out some wonderfully paced jokes throughout - and regularly rides roughshod all over others. It's this potential and this shame that is, perhaps, ultimately the most disappointing - it could have been so much more. Better than other male forces in this area.

But did we really expect a higher brow of comedy from the director of Bridesmaids?

What the Mr. Thought:
Entertaining and definitely has some laughs. It's a 'good enough' comedy movie - it had the audience in stitches during several scenes. The problem is that truly great comedic films don't denigrate themselves or their characters in such obscene fashions - and this film is always going to be, for me, as one that could have been great. Bullock and McCarthy play with a brilliant warmth together - it's definitely worth seeing if you enjoyed other cop movies.

What the Misses Thought:
What a hilarious film! The amount of laughter in the cinema was incredible and I must say I joined in too. While it wasn't the best film in the world, the sheer silliness and comedy made it such a good watch! If you are looking for a film that is easy to watch, easy to enjoy and so easy to laugh out loud too, then The Heat is a perfect fit for you!

But remember, you didn't hear any of that from us,

The Mr. and the Misses

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