Opening 4 Jul 2013
Hollywood just loves the buddy cop genre. This familiar formula begins with two mismatched cops who are forced to work together; they solve a crime, and surprise, surprise, in the process start bonding. The Heat is an innovative buddy cop comedy because this time both main characters are females. Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is impeccable as the pantsuit and Spanx dressed, uptight, know-it-all, goody two-shoed FBI agent from New York. Nobody can stand her arrogance including her dashing boss Hale (Demián Bichir). Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) is perfectly cast as the foul mouthed, weapon toting, bag lady garbed and, yes, incredibly fat Boston police detective. She is part of a social misfit Irish family; she had even helped send her own brother to jail for drug charges. Ashburn’s and Mullins’ mission is to track down a local Boston drug lord. The actual plot is irrelevant—it’s the journey that counts here. From the start the audience knows it is just a matter of time and they will be best buddies. It’s fun to watch these two cops as they clumsily discover they’re the perfect team.
Director Paul Feig knows how to make chick flicks with a difference. He triumphed with the blockbuster comedy Bridesmaids, the film which catapulted McCarthy to Oscar nomination heights. He just gets it with women and their relationships. He also gets it with slapstick and physical comedy, obviously aware of the hysterical stunts only someone long overdue for Weight Watchers can perform. Feig knows how to attract the guys, too. Those males looking for a good old fashioned buddy cop film will ogle over the huge cache of weapons (including a rocket launcher) Detective Mullins keeps in her fridge. There’s a car chase, a mob-style execution, buckets of blood, and so much profanity you begin to think something is strangely missing if “fucking” is not included in Mullins’ every utterance. Finally there’s the night of binge drinking at a bar where Ashburn and Mullins bond with the unspoken promise of friendship and… a sequel.
I would genuinely consider watching The Heat 2 if the level of violence and number of guns were somewhat diminished. I would also support Mullins’ mom washing her daughter’s mouth out with soap. But then there goes half the audience. (Pat Frickey)