Film | The Heat

Photo: Gemma LaMana
Photo: Gemma LaMana

Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy star in this comedy thriller as a mismatched police pairing who must overcome their differences in order to catch a local drugs baron. The Heat puts a much-needed twist on the traditional good cop/bad cop narrative, boasting fine performances and laugh out loud moments.

Bullock takes on the role of Sarah Ashburn, an intelligent but uptight FBI special agent from New York. Always ten steps ahead of the other agents, Ashburn is competitive and determined to get the job done. When offered a promotion on the condition that she takes a case in Boston, Ashburn jumps at the opportunity. It is during the Boston drug case that she crosses paths with her worst nightmare, Detective Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy). Crude, foulmouthed and ballsy, Mullins chases criminals in an old, beaten up car and even takes one out by hurling a watermelon, proving herself early on as Ashburn’s diametric opposite. Both must work together in order to gain crucial intel that could lead them to unmasking the local drug lord, but the situation gets complicated when Mullins finds herself focusing more on the safety of her brother, who seems to be involved in the crimes.

The very fact that this movie stars Bullock and McCarthy together is enough to make you go and see it, and in this respect it does not disappoint. They are brilliant in portraying the clash between their characters, playing on their physical differences and demonstrating their ability to pull off knockabout physical comedy. Director Paul Feig made a fantastic choice in casting Bullock and McCarthy together.

However, there are points in which much of the comic factor relies on the swearing of foulmouthed Shannon Mullins. By relying on this as a generator of laughs, there are parts which appear cheap, tired and overdone. Compared to Feig’s 2011 film Bridesmaids (also starring Melissa McCarthy), The Heat does feel a little unsurprising and less inventive. Despite a predictable ending, Feig does provide a few scenes that are genuinely surprising which keeps the audience focused. Meanwhile, Bullock and McCarthy give a more than first class performance in their roles as mismatched police officers, ultimately making this film a great watch.

With a running time of 117 minutes and certificate 15, this film is the perfect blend of action and comedy together. The feminine uniqueness of this film (particularly when matched with other good cop/bad cop styled films) is genius, so much so that it would not work with anyone other than Bullock and McCarthy. A sequel is reportedly brewing, but there is no telling what Feig may have in store for us next time.


Antonia Street

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