Tuesday, 1 April 2014

April Fools: The Heat (2013)

Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy are the odd couple thrown together in this standard buddy cop comedy that ends up providing a fair amount of chuckles, thanks to the talents of the cast and a consistently amusing, if not outright hilarious, script.

Bullock is Agent Ashburn, a Fed who takes great pride in her work. Well, it's basically all she has in her life. Except for her cat, which actually belongs to her neighbour. When a big case takes her to Boston it's not long until she bumps into the aggressive and unorthodox Mullins (McCarthy). Which means, of course, that the two of them have to work together to crack the case.

Director Paul Feig, who scored a huge hit with his previous movie, Bridesmaids, proves here that he has a knack of working well with talented comedic actresses. Or that he has a knack of working well with talented female writers, as it's Katie Dippold who wrote the script. Or maybe he just does well when paired up with McCarthy, who was one of many highlights in Bridesmaids, of course.

I've always been a fan of Bullock, and I think she's particularly good in comedic roles. The Heat reminds people of just how good she is with the right material. McCarthy gets most of the big laughs, of course, but Bullock does well as the uptight agent who might just learn to loosen up a little bit over the course of the movie. McCarthy really shines here, unlike her turn in the misjudged Identity Thief, and I hope she considers clearing her schedule for any future opportunities to work with Feig, who obviously knows how to get the best out of her.

While none of the other main characters are played by any BIG names, I must say that the supporting cast had a great selection of talent. Marlon Wayans, Michael Rapaport, Bill Burr, Thomas F. Wilson, Jane Curtin and others all join in with the fun, and everyone seems to have a good time.

The script could have been sharper, the film could have been tightened up a bit (the runtime is just under two hours), and there's a fine line being walked between filling the movie with cliches and having fun with them, but there's plenty here to enjoy, especially for fans of the two leads.




  1. I actually didn't laugh once at McCarthy. I'm starting to think that she's a one trick pony. It seems she's only funny when making situations awkward, and that's running dry quick. I did however, laugh at Bullock. I always liked her.

    The movie could have been better for sure, but I didn't hate it. Great review.

    1. Cheers mate. I like McCarthy with the right material, and felt that this movie and Bridesmaids work well for her (she was also funny in the small role she had in The Hangover Part III), but a film like Identity Thief proves how bad she can be when the schtick is mishandled.

      I have always liked Bullock too, ever since discovering her in Speed and Demolition Man (although she'd been working in film before those two really elevated her to stardom).