The Heat (2013)

The Heat (2013)

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Throwing the book at a perp. Literally.
Throwing the book at a perp. Literally.

Twitter Plot Summary: One strict by the book cop has to work with a slobby, foulmouthed cop. Both get results. Both are women. Glory be.

Genre: Action/Comedy/Crime

Director: Paul Feig

Key Cast: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Marlon Wayans, Michael Rapaport, Jane Curtin, Spoken Reasons, Thomas F Wilson.

Five Point Summary:

1. So far so typical – let’s set both characters up as polar opposites and throw them together.
2. Hey, it’s Biff Tannen!
3. Dropping a guy from a great height onto a car is better than dropping a guy from a great height to the floor.
4. The albino DEA guy is actually funny. Who knew?
5. Brace yourself for a twist… but only a tiny one. We don’t want to tax the audience too much.

It’s definitely been a year of cinema excess – comic book movies, big science fiction epics (or attempts at epicness), and sequel after sequel after sequel. And so it is with some relief that we have The Heat, the sophomore effort from director Paul Feig after the immense success of Bridesmaids in 2011, which I’m sad to say I’ve not yet had chance to watch. I’m working my way towards it, honest.

The plot is your usual buddy cop cliche and in the grand scheme of things isn’t really that important. That said, it would have been nice to have a villain with the same sort of personality as Joss “DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY!” Ackland from Lethal Weapon 2. Much like 2 Guns, you’re here for the interplay between Bullock and McCarthy, mismatched cops who form a bond for no other reason than the script puts them together and tells them to get on with it. As they meander from butting heads to kinship, you get echoes of the buddy copy movies of years gone by – Lethal Weapon, Dragnet… erm… Lethal Weapon 2… Turner and Hooch? The key difference here is the gender of the leads, that’s the Unique Selling Point that justifies the film’s existence. At the same time, and this is to its detriment, is that the film could have easily been made in the 80s and nobody would have really noticed a difference. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any margin, but that doesn’t matter because it’s actually really funny. Breath a sigh of relief, people.

Fighting over Biff Tannen. As you do.
Fighting over Biff Tannen. As you do.

It’s a long film for a comedy, but doesn’t grate as much as the epically long funny films of Judd Apatow and his stable. If it had been any longer then there would be serious cause for complaint, as it is it’s ever so slightly flabby and could do with tightening up just a tad. Not much, mind, but cutting 5-10 minutes would help. 2 hours is a bit of a stretch for consistent laughter, and despite a few areas where it lags the laughs are consistent. That comes as a relief bearing in mind how disappointing many recent comedies have been, but again this could be tied to the retro feel of the plot. Pretty much everything was funny in the 80s, even if it wasn’t supposed to be. Having a comedy with an actual plot is also a selling point, we don’t see it often enough these days.

If I’m going to complain about anything, it’s the horrific photoshopping of Melissa McCarthy’s face on the poster. Every time I saw it I wanted to hurt the person responsible. Not because it’s a slight on Ms McCarthy (because I couldn’t really care less about that), but for the fact the person they’ve photoshopped her into now barely resembles her. If I was of lower intelligence I’d demand my money back if the person in the film didn’t match the face on the poster. I would also ask Melissa McCarthy to do something a little different in her next role – being loudmouthed and vulgar will only get you so far before people grow tired of it. In this case I’ll let her off as her chemistry with Sandra Bullock is spot on. And as for Ms Bullock, her comedy timing is spot on as always. Good film, good cast, worth a punt.

Favourite scene: The first scene with the albino DEA agent. Hilarious stuff.

Quote: “I’ll shut the door on you. You lay down here and put your head in the door. And I’ll slam it about 157,000 times.”

Silly Moment:  The drunken bar montage.

Score: 3.5/5

 

 

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