May 4, 2014

The Heat

Paul Feig, 2013
FBI Agent Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) gets relocated to Boston where she is unintentionally paired with tough native street-cop Mullins (Melissa McCarthy). Using Ashburn's book-smarts and Mullins' street-smarts, they hope to work together to take down a local drug-dealer.

The Heat delivers the typical buddy cop comedy channeled through two opposite women, one a goody two-shoes overachiever and one a brash and butch Boston native. Making the decision to pair up America's sweetheart with the brash McCarthy certainly makes sense. Bullock has made a career of blending in light-hearted films with more drama-oriented ones. Some are good, most are not. But she has shown, at least in a couple of her most recent films Gravity and The Blind Side that she evolving to some extent as an actress. So when she got a call for The Heat she probably just figured it would be fun to step back again and work in the comedy world with McCarthy, who is probably the funniest female actress working at the moment. During the film, you certainly get a clear sense that they are having fun working together. So why doesn't it work here? Because even though you employ two veteran comedic actresses, you still need good writing. That's just not present here. In fact, the laughs are swinging a solid .285 batting average. The Boston stereotypes, as shown with Mullins' family, are hackneyed and tired at this point. Yes, some people from the City of Boston talk funny. Yes, some of them are rough around the edges. We get it. And by Mullins' 20th fuck, even the vulgarity grows a bit wearing. The Heat does provide a few intermittent chuckles here and there, but it's starving for some punch-up.

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