SANDRA BULLOCK MELISSA MCCARTHY
Director Paul Feig’s follow-up to Bridesmaids, one of the biggest comedies in years, is unfortunately without the wit and charisma of the words by Kristen Wiig. The Heat is a sloppy action comedy that has Oscar winner Sandra Bullock back for the first time in the types of roles that won her a Razzie (ironically the same year she took the Academy Award). The Heat isn’t the first time the beloved star has gotten lazy in her film choices; while promoting The Heat on Leno she scoffed at Speed 2, but her film blunders out-number her successes. Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy, however, is stuck very deep in a stereotype cycle that will certainly mean career death if she doesn’t veer from the path.
Special Agent Ashburn (Bullock), while trying to receive a promotion in her New York field office, happily takes the assigned case in Boston where she thinks cracking a drug dealing case will be a walk in the park after her last arrest. Local police officer Mullins (McCarthy) stands in her way literally and figuratively. The two clash on everything but are forced to work together. They develop a respect and bond for each other that will come in handy when they come face to face with Boston’s most dangerous drug dealer.
It's ironic that it’s called The Heat since there certainly isn’t any fire between these two. McCarthy gets a few laughs when available, while Bullock plays the punching bag for most of the jokes. What I can’t understand is why Bullock, having her choice at any script she wants, would essentially put herself back in the shoes of Gracie Hart. It’s an entirely 'been there, done that' character for her; Once again she is playing the FBI’s most unpopular, unsexy agent and learning a valuable lesson in the end.
The Heat pokes fun at Boston accents, law enforcement jurisdiction, and females in the force. The fact that two women share lead credits on a summer film is nice, but Bullock and McCarthy don’t do any favors for lasting female characters or best actress performances. There is an alcoholic binge sequence that leads to horrible dancing, which becomes the movie’s real low point. Katie Dippold’s script even tries to make Mullins's family a second rate mirror of the family in The Fighter, without the authenticity. There isn’t enough applicable comedy to make this worth the price of admission.
Final Thought – This as a drama would have been far more intriguing than this overcooked mess.
By: Dustin Chase