12 sept. 2013

My Review: The Heat (6/10)

"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."

We've seen the buddy cop comedies played out a million times before over the years, sometimes with great effect like in Lethal Weapon, Rush Hour, or more recently 21 Jump Street, and others it just plays out terribly, like in Cop Out. One thing is for sure, we go into these movies expecting great chemistry from the lead characters. The plot can be ridiculous or over the top, but if the chemistry in the buddy comedy is good then the film is guaranteed to deliver laughs. It doesn't matter if the movie is predictable and follows all the same rules other buddy comedies do, if you have Danny Glover pairing up with Mel Gibson, or Jonah Hill with Channing Tatum you are destined to have a great time. The secret lies in having two completely different people team up and despite not liking each other at first somewhere around the line everything clicks. This genre has been universally accepted and it has worked since the beginning of film. The Heat follows pretty much the same formula we've seen in all these other comedies, except for one thing: Both leads are females. In the last 25 years there has never been a buddy cop comedy with two women as the main characters. Bridesmaids director, Paul Feig, made it possible by pairing the comedic talents of Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Katie Dippold's script might not be genius, but the two ladies are extremely funny together and deliver several laughs thanks to their great chemistry. Opposites attract, and that formula works once again without being a groundbreaking comedy. It was good to see two strong female leads dominate the box office. Somehow despite not being original, the film felt fresh and McCarthy delivered all the right comedic notes masterfully. And that is coming from someone who has never been a big fan of her work (Identity Theft was horrible and I'm not into Mike and Molly either). If you are looking for an easygoing fun time, then by all means check this film out because there are several scenes that will crack you up.

Sarah Asburn (Sandra Bullock) is an uptight FBI agent who does things by the books. She is great at what she does, but her cocky attitude doesn't help her at making friends. She is sent by her boss, Hale (Demain Bichir) to Boston to find a ruthless drug lord named Larkin who has been eliminating the competition by cutting other drug dealers into pieces. In order to uncover this man's identity Sarah will have to start from the bottom interrogating other small time dealers. The only problem is that the person she wants to question is Shannon Mullins's (Melissa McCarthy) prisoner and she isn't very friendly. Shannon is a foul mouthed police officer that doesn't have much respect for authority. She likes working alone and doesn't want anyone messing with her neighborhood. When Sarah begins interrogating her prisoner, Shannon jumps in and begins defending her territory. Unfortunately both are forced to work together after Hale acknowledges that Sarah could use a partner who knows the territory. Despite wanting to find the man responsible for these crimes, both officers get off on the wrong foot because they are completely different. Sarah does things by the books, while Shannon isn't afraid to use force and intimidation to get what she wants.  

Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy working together in a cop comedy is a good reason enough to go see this film. McCarthy is extremely funny here and her character isn't unlikable like in Identity Theft. Here despite being very foul mouthed and disrespectful, she has a good heart and is fighting for all the right reason. Bullock on the other hand plays a very unlikable character at first, but she pulls it off by doing things unintentionally. She really doesn't know she is being cocky or putting other officers to shame, she does things without realizing how hurtful her remarks are. The chemistry between both these characters is what makes this otherwise predictable movie worth watching. The Heat might not be as funny as Feig's previous film, Bridesmaids, but it still is worth watching for the female star power alone. Hollywood doesn't take much risks, but here they managed to bill two actresses as their stars and the risk payed off at the box office. McCarthy proves she has the star power and is becoming a bankable star when given decent material to work with.


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