Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Directed by: Paul Feig
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Michael McDonald
This week marked the DVD and Blu-ray release of Paul Feig’s The Heat, a buddy-cop action comedy starring the dream team that is Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Sandy B takes on her customary uptight, straight-laced FBI agent role, whilst McCarthy works her comedic magic as the slovenly but loveable potty-mouth in this film that has ‘fun’ written all over it.
Not as hilarious as Feig’s previous comedy offering Bridesmaids but still better than some of the more recent buddy-cop failures, The Heat sees Ashburn (Bullock) and Mullins (McCarthy) join forces to take down a ruthless drug lord known only as Larkin. When Mullins’ sizeable and equally loud-mouthed Bostonian family is threatened, the case becomes personal and the ladies must learn to put their differences aside to catch the bad guy. Things becomes even more complicated when the two realise there’s a mole amongst them and they’re going to have to finish the job themselves. Cue plenty of laugh out loud jokes, in your face profanities, and a particularly awkward scene where Ashburn tries to perform a tracheotomy that she saw on TV. If you’re averse to the sight of blood you best fast-forward over that part!
What The Heat lacks in originality it makes up for in light entertainment. Bullock and McCarthy are both stellar actresses in their own right but put them together and they’re unstoppable. Their unique chemistry allows them to bounce off one another with remarkable ease, keeping the quick-witted dialogue flowing and the tone upbeat throughout. The contrast between Ashburn’s tense FBI agent and Mullins’ street-wise Boston cop keeps the film grounded and there’s genuine heart to be found at the centre of the story.
At times Bullock sways into Gracie Hart Miss Congeniality territory, uttering familiar lines like “cheese and rice” but this is a role she does so well and it’s always a pleasure to see her don a bullet proof vest and point a gun at some baddies. McCarthy has certainly come a long way since her days as Sookie St James in Gilmore Girls and she never fails to bring the laughs. In the hands of another actress the character of Mullins could easily have become one-dimensional but McCarthy displays a certain level of veiled vulnerability, which softens the character’s brash vulgarity.
Fans of Bullock in Miss Congeniality and McCarthy in, well, anything, will find plenty to enjoy with The Heat. It’s not going to win any awards but nobody ever said it would. Appreciate it for what it is – a fun and playful buddy-cop blockbuster that delivers the most likeable female comedy duo to date.