The Heat's Rap Sheet: Funny but Endlessly Profane
- Friday, June 28, 2013
DVD Release Date: October 15, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: June 28, 2013
Rating: R (pervasive language, strong crude content and some violence)
Run Time: 117 min.
Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Marlon Wayans, Michael Rapaport, Michael McDonald, Jane Curtin, Demiån Bichir
When measured against the buddy cop genre’s upper echelon, namely Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon and the more recent Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg vehicle The Other Guys, there's really nothing all that unique about The Heat's actual plot.
But what differentiates The Heat from its peers is that men take a backseat in fighting crime. Yes, in the same way that Bridesmaids (also directed by Paul Feig) proved women are just as funny, crazy, and crass as anyone starring in The Hangover, The Heat is no softer or sanitary just because it happens to star America’s sweetheart, the Academy Award-winning Leigh Anne Tuohy mimic Sandra Bullock.
As Sarah Ashburn, Bullock basically plays the Rodney Dangerfield of FBI agents. While she's managed to crack a few high-profile cases, her slavishly by-the-book approach, uptight demeanor and poor taste in pantsuits have made her the butt of her fellow agents' jokes. Her personal life isn't much better in the respect department, as she's often so lonely that she snuggles with her neighbor's cat (one of the film's better low-key laughs). The only glimmer of light in Sarah's lackluster existence is the possibility of a promotion at work.
While Sarah should be a shoo-in given her respectable credentials, her (sexist) boss isn't quite convinced she’s the one for the job. But if she can successfully bring down a dangerous drug lord in Boston? Well, the job is hers. Trouble is, there’s a local Beantown law enforcer already on the case—and she isn't planning on sharing the spotlight any time soon.
Enter Shannon Mullins, played by the perpetually scene-stealing Melissa McCarthy (Identity Thief), as the requisite loose cannon. While Ashburn is always the picture of professional decorum, Mullins is anything but. Sloppy, foul-mouthed and severely lacking in social graces (to wit: she offers a two-week-old sandwich to houseguests, and her idea of clean clothes simply involves turning your favorite t-shirt inside out), it's no surprise that Mullins marches to her own beat on the job, too.
Ashburn's first clue that working with Mullins might be challenging comes during a routine interrogation. While Sarah stays calm and prefers the Myers-Briggs personality test to gain valuable psychological intel, Mullins prefers beating the suspect with a phone book. Needless to say, that's only the beginning of how their differences will play out as they get closer to whomever is responsible for the rash of drug-related offenses.
With winks and nudges to countless buddy cop movie clichés, Bullock and McCarthy are clearly having a good time cutting loose in The Heat. Given the film’s decidedly fast and loose style, it's clear that McCarthy was given full license to improvise, and she uses every inch of her body, not to mention her quick wit, for laughs. Inevitably, some jokes work better than others (a shameless gag about shooting guys in the genitals gets old rather quickly), but the laughs are consistent and abundant. Unfortunately, so are the f-bombs and misuses of God's name.
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