UK Release Date: 31st July 2013
Runtime: 117 minutes
Director: Paul Feig
Writer: Katie Dippold
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Demian Bichir
Synopsis: A straight-laced FBI agent must team up with a bullish Boston cop to bring down a violent drug lord.
Most of the pre-release publicity for Paul Feig’s follow-up to Bridesmaids has focused on two things: the bad Photoshop job on the poster and the fact that the film features… WOMEN! GASP! What none of this publicity decided to mention was that The Heat is actually an awful lot of fun.
In order to secure a crucial promotion, Agent Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is sent to Boston to nail a mysterious, Keyser Soze-a-like drug lord. She soon butts heads with Detective Mullins (Melissa McCarthy), a foul-mouthed police officer with a no nonsense attitude. Realising that collaboration will help them both, they decide to put aside their differences and work the case together.
The Heat makes its primary aim very clear from the start. It isn’t there to make audiences ponder the nuances of existence or tug at the heartstrings. Quite simply, it wants to make people laugh. And it does. A lot.
Much like Seth MacFarlane’s work, The Heat adopts the machine gun approach to humour, which suggests that firing enough jokes in quick succession means that some of them hit the mark. And, much like MacFarlane’s Ted, this approach works for The Heat. It’s funnier than pretty much any American live action comedy this year and isn’t short of quotable dialogue.
McCarthy is on her trademark vulgar form, delivering profanities like a transatlantic Malcolm Tucker. Sandra Bullock proves to be a solid foil and her character’s development is by far the most interesting thing about the film. Unfortunately, the lead pair are hampered by a poor, forgettable supporting cast and a script that falls back on scatological gags a little too often.
It’s clear that the premise was a good one: what if someone made a female buddy cop movie? However, it’s equally clear that the plot of The Heat was then fleshed outwards from that idea in around five minutes. It’s as formulaic as they come and never bothers to surprise, shock or create any kind of peril or intrigue.
For all of its amusing gags and the honourable premise, The Heat never quite manages to be the film that it should’ve been. Paul Feig certainly has talent and he deserves credit for reminding the world just how funny women can be, but this one certainly isn’t Bridesmaids.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.