The Heat (2013)
Sandra Bullock plays a typical Sandra Bullock character, an uptight, arrogant, perfectionist, who in this case is Agent Sarah Ashburn of the FBI. We are first introduced to Melissa McCarthy as Detective Shannon Mullins, a Boston cop, as she busts a john (Tony Hale, Arrested Development’s Buster Bluth) for trying to pick up a prostitute, an arrest which results in a crazy car chase and the arrest of a local pimp/drug dealer. She is a ball-busting, no nonsense police officer, with little regard for personal hygiene or interior design. She may not have curtains, but she does have a rocket launcher in her fridge. The two women find themselves butting heads as the two cases they are working overlap, so they have to learn to get along and work together to get the bad guys.
McCarthy and Bullock are both great in their respective roles, and there is also a great cast of supporting characters, including a scene-stealing appearance by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Kaitlin Olsen as a Bulgarian drug dealer.
There are very some funny set pieces including a great drunk bonding scene, but also some misfires, like the rather gross attempted tracheotomy scene. However, the film is overly long with a somewhat saggy middle-section that doesn’t help to drive either the comedy or the drama forward.
The film garnered more press for a rather clumsy air-brushing of Melissa McCarthy for the poster (below), which left her looking unrecognisable, than for the film itself.
This is a real shame as it is refreshing to have a big release comedy headlined by two women which has written by a woman, which well and truly passes the Bechdel test. This is not a feminist film though, it’s just a funny movie that happens to be about women, and that’s the way it should be.
3 out of 5