If you can’t take ‘The Heat’…we have something in common
by Logan Burd
The Heat (2013)
Directed by Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids“)
“The Heat” is every buddy cop movie you’ve ever seen. Polar opposite agents of the law, Sandra Bullock playing an uptight FBI vet and Melissa McCarthy playing a loose-lipped Boston cop (or was she a homeless person?), are put on the same case. It’s drugs, of course. There’s the foreign drug dealers and the endless search for the highest dealer on the chain of command. You got the DEA, FBI, and Boston PD battling amongst departments. There’s the family in danger tie-in and the eventual tragedy of an officer being taken off the case. “But I’m so close!” Then, of course, they solve it anyway. How original. One camp will argue “Why mess up a formula that seems to work pretty well?” My camp would say the buddy-cop comedy formula hasn’t worked very well in a while.
I will say I’m proud that we finally have a girl power buddy cop team. In a subgenre that almost exclusively stars men in the lead roles, “The Heat” kicks them to the minors. (Where, unfortunately for the concept, they still get the major laughs).
The irritating Melissa McCarthy stoops to nuking the screen with F-bombs and other profanities, commonplace in comedy but too often used as a crutch for real humor. Anyone will laugh at a cocky woman shouting insults at bad guys, no matter what words actually surround the curses. She doesn’t even have the decency to fake a Boston accent. I thought that’d be an obvious perk of having the movie set in Beantown. But I guess not. Bullock is only slightly funnier, and merely because her character makes the (also conventional) transformation from uptight agent to wild and crazy gal somewhere in the middle of the movie. Woopee.
“The Heat” is barely tolerable. After two hours, any funny this movie offered had long since worn out, and what was left was a skeleton of any buddy cop comedy that ever failed. I’ll admit I rarely find Melissa McCarthy funny, but she was only a drop in an otherwise flooded ship.
“The Heat” is now in theaters.