The buddy cop genre has long been a bankable cinematic asset. It’s surprising that this is the only film that I can think of in recent memory that actually pairs up two females within the genre. I wish I could say that the film was worth this groundbreaking occasion, but the sad fact is that The Heat is a fairly mediocre buddy cop film that suffers from writing that doesn’t go far enough and substitutes the word “fuck” in lieu of creativity.
The film features two main characters who are both complete disasters. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t want to be stuck with either of these people for longer than fifteen minutes. First there is Sandra Bullock’s character, FBI agent Ashburn. Ashburn is a stuff, stick-up-her-ass beeyatch, that no one likes. Melissa McCarthy plays Mullins, a slovenly, foul-mouthed cop who resentfully agrees to help Ashburn on her case to find a drug lord. I imagine she smells like cigarette butts and old feminine hygiene products. Together the two will do such stereotypically girly things as get drunk, perform a dance number, help each other with relationships and generally say the word “fuck” as if it’s a prerequisite for any line of dialogue. Yeah, the film is poorly written to say the least.
Surprisingly, the film is directed by the same dude that directed Bridesmaids, which was a vastly superior film. Paul Feig knows his way around the camera, and the shot selections in The Heat are surprisingly good. It’s the story that is the real problem. The pieces of the film that had huge comedic potential aren’t fully developed, and the parts that are focused on in the film are simply excuses for profanity-laced tirades. Now, normally, I’m a fan of profanity-laced tirades, but they are quite repetitive in this film. The dialogue simply isn’t as good as it could be, and the story and the characters suffer because of it.
It’s a shame that the story is so subpar, because the cast is actually on top of their game. Sandra Bullock nails it in a role that she appears born to play… that of smug, entitled bitch. I don’t know if that’s who she is in real life, but it wouldn’t surprise me because she appears to know this role inside and out. Melissa McCarthy is also impressive as Mullins, the somewhat disgusting cop. She is vile, generally humorous and deserving of a better script than this. The rest of the supporting characters are somewhat forgettable.
The main issue with The Heat is that the humor is so one-note. At first, you’ll be sitting back and laughing, and then, by the end of the film’s bloated, 2-hour runtime, you won’t hardly be able to pay attention due to the “been-there-done-that” effect of hearing the same old swearing shit over and over. Some more humorous supporting characters and a different variety of humor would have helped this film be more than a one-note flick.
For the most part The Heat is enjoyable enough. The good news is that it’s not just a chick flick, which it easily could have been. It will appeal to a broad swath of society; just don’t expect to be shooting liquids out your nose every few minutes as the LPM’s aren’t quite up to snuff. Hopefully, the planned sequel will incorporate some of my suggestions… if not, it will suck.
Final Synopsis: Buddy cop flick with chicks… it’s mediocre. If you really like McCarthy, she’s at the top of her game and Bullock isn’t half bad either. Hope you like the word “fuck” because you’re going to be hearing it at least 200 hundred times.
Points Lost: -1 for poor writing, -1 for under-developed comedic bits like Mullins’ family, -1 for being one-note in terms of comedy, -1 for ineffective supporting characters, -1 for being way too long
Lesson Learned: Cheese sandwiches don’t go bad.
Burning Question: Why does every movie aimed at women have to involve a stupid dance number? Are women that starved for people dancing?