The Heat: Movie Review
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Marlon Wayans, Michael Rapaport
Director: Paul Feig
The cop buddy movie returns - this time with two female leads.
Oscar winning actress Sandra Bullock stars as uptight FBI agent Sarah Ashburn in The Heat; she's hoping for a major promotion despite being unloved by most of the troops she works with. Keen to please the powers that be, she's sent to Boston to help bring down a ruthless drug lord.
The only thing standing in her way is the brash and abrasive Boston cop Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy, re-teaming with her Bridesmaids director Paul Feig) - they're as incompatible as chalk and cheese.
But, whaddya know, they've got to work together to bring down the bad guy - cue friction and fireworks.
The Heat is a buddy-cop movie which is lacking in sizzle, despite initially showing some promise.
Sandra Bullock does uptight very well - and perhaps a little too much, given how her character's roundly disliked by all those working with her but she borders on being arrogant and unwatchable that it's hard to initially latch onto her.
Likewise, Melissa McCarthy once again rocks her out abrasive, brash and rough cackling character to maximum crude comic effect throughout - and of course, given the two extremes of these career women, there's likely to be clashes ahead before the inevitable buddying up / slight agreeing to each other's point of view / thawing of the female rivalry gives way to their complementing each other.
Sure, it's formulaic with the slightly different slant on the cop movie in that this time, it's two female cops who don't quite gel (what a shocker), but what's more problematic about this film is how unfunny it actually is during its nigh on two hours running time. Which is a real shame given the pedigree it's come from. A few unexpected curve balls here and there in the forms of acerbic put downs really lighten the mix. There's a lot of fun to be had at a couple of running gags - one of which comes at the expense of an albino cop and another about Ashburn's penchant for the neighbour's cat, but it's not enough to sustain the load.
McCarthy and Bullock have good chemistry together but after a while the abrasive squabbling and squirm inducing excruciating moments tend to outstay their welcome and really grates. The Heat had real potential as a final pre-end credits piece shows which brings more laughs than have gone before.
The buddy cop genre has many entrants - and this recalls Rush Hour in some ways given the clashes - but The Heat isn't a memorable entrant into the admittedly already crowded pantheon thanks largely in part to a weak script and a lack of doing anything really new and different with the formula.