The Heat – A Review

August 2, 2013 8:18 am

‘The Heat’ is Paul Feig’s latest cinematic release since ‘Bridesmaids’ in 2011. ‘The Heat’ buddy-cop film follows convention and has a script that was clearly funny, but that humour did not seem to translate all that well. Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is an extremely talented and skilled FBI Agent, seemingly detested by her colleagues for her arrogant behaviour. Ashburn is sent to Boston to investigate a crime king who goes by the name of Larkin. Upon arrival in Boston, Ashburn is paired up with maverick Boston Police Officer, Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy). As to be expected, Ashburn’s strict adherence to the rule book clashes with Mullins’ alternative and questionable methods. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy are the two main reasons to watch this film. McCarthy has cemented herself as one of the top comedy actresses in the world and Bullock has been a top leading Actress since the mid-nineties.

Yet despite having this much star power and talent, it is a script jam-packed with crude and boorish humour, and some hammy direction that lets this film down. Don’t misunderstand; the script is funny if you happen to like this type of humour. It worked incredibly well for ‘Bridesmaids’. Women being just as disgusting as men – it works. Or rather, it worked. Now it has been worn a bit thin. Additionally, the script is incredibly clichéd and predictable, following the buddy-cop formula closely from opening scene to closing credits. Act one: When Sandra and McCarthy meet, they do not get along. Act two: As they bond and begin to find out more about each other’s lives, they form a solid relationship. Act three: They bring their skills together in a shooting and explosion finale to bring the criminals down and the film to a close. Of course, there is more going on.

The chemistry between Bullock and McCarthy is the glue that keeps this all together. Bullock’s ‘all-American’ image with McCarthy’s vile and indecent behaviour and mannerisms bounce off one another. Additionally, what makes the idea of ‘The Heat’ refreshing is that we now have two women as the leads in a sub-genre that is dominated by men. But it feels like Feig is constantly reminding us of that. The not-so-subtle subtext throughout all of this is ‘Hey, being a woman in a male-driven environment is tough’ as shown by their two male colleagues, DEA Agents, Craig (Dan Bakkedahl) and Craig (Taran Killam) who undermine them at every turn. As mentioned, the film is worth a watch just for the chemistry between the two leads, and how they bring the humour out of a script with dated jokes.

Although, ‘The Heat’ is another example of how formulaic movies are starting to lose their touch with cinema-goers.

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