Monday, July 1, 2013

Review: The Heat (2013)

The Heat (2013)

The Heat is a very, very funny movie. It follows two female cops who are each insane in their own way -- Sandra Bullock's hyper-competent, socially-hopeless FBI agent Ashland, and Melissa McCarthy's crazy Southie gun nut detective Mullins -- and, like director Paul Feig's previous film Bridesmaids, scores huge laughs with their interactions with each other and those around them. The thin plot and the grossly inaccurate portrayal of police work almost don't matter, since you'll be too busy busting your gut at the goings-on here. This has been a long year for comedy fans, so if you're waiting for a really funny film to see in theaters, and you've already seen This Is the End thirty-seven times, The Heat is your ticket.

The "plot" here ostensibly involves a drug lord moving product into Boston, but what this film is really about is getting Bullock and McCarthy into as many crazy situations as it can. The two ladies are hilarious here, their characters' personalities bouncing off of everything in their vicinity, and the film never misses an opportunity to go for a big laugh. The characters are all broad stereotypes, from Mullins' bickering, foul-mouthed, white-trash Irish family to the albino DEA agent who gives off all indication of being a bad guy (but is he?). If you can't figure out that Ashland is going to learn to loosen up a bit by the end, or that Mullins will be appreciated by her fellow cops and make a friend in the process, then you're watching the wrong movie. This film is very low-brow, firing off crude jokes several times a minute, with most of them hitting at a rate not seen since Airplane!. Go easy on the drinks when watching this, lest you run the risk of spraying half of it on the ground through your nose in laughter.

Good comedies always do make for short reviews, because it's hard to tell why you liked a comedy without spoiling everything that makes it so fun. This is especially true with The Heat, since there is otherwise little to talk about besides the jokes and the amazing chemistry between Bullock and McCarthy. Writer Katie Dippold (of Parks & Recreation fame) was interested in one thing and one thing only with this film, and that was making viewers laugh. What little story there is to speak of exists mainly to keep the jokes flowing; Apatow this ain't. Characters come and go before we get to know them, only to show up again half an hour later. Mullins is able to literally throw a phone book at a perp and tell everyone in the station that the chief has tiny balls without even a slap on the wrist, and that's only the beginning of this film's laughable portrayal of police work.

Score: 4 out of 5

This movie's singular goal is to be really friggin' funny, and it does that so well that it easily overcomes its plot holes and assorted flaws. Definitely worth a watch for anyone looking for a good comedy this summer.

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