It’s no secret Melissa McCarthy is not what Hollywood typically looks for in a leading lady. McCarthy doesn’t fit the mold and we didn’t need that vulgar has-been Rex Reed to let us in on that assumption. Yet with all the superficial roadblocks that McCarthy surely faced, she has proved to be a major player in Hollywood. She’s won an Emmy for Mike & Molly, been nominated for an Oscar in Bridesmaids and had a $100 million hit with her first leading role in Identity Thief. This week McCarthy is joined by Oscar winner Sandra Bullock to show that ladies can rule the summer box office in the action comedy The Heat.
The Heat stars Sandra Bullock as FBI agent Sarah Ashburn who is sent to Boston to investigate a ruthless drug dealer who no one has ever seen. Ashburn does everything by the book, yet still feels unappreciated and lives a lonely life. Ashburn is forced to work on the case with a brash, but caring Boston Cop named Mullins (McCarthy). The two are polar opposites on the outside clashing and creating numerous laughs with their opposing styles of Law Enforcement. The two women butt heads, but realize their loneliness and lack of respect makes them kindred spirits despite their differences.
The Heat gets its inspiration from 80’s classics such as 48 Hrs. and Lethal Weapon. Some may be surprised by the level of violence in The Heat. If you thought there was a lack of blood, gore and head shots in World War Z, The Heat sure does make up for it this week. The Heat is a comedy first, but it does take advantage of the R rating to show some gun play and action in this female buddy comedy. The duo or “The Heat” as Mullins likes to call them are able to bring the fists and the funny. Although you may want to cover your eyes during the scene when they have breakfast at Denny’s.
The Heat mixes the action with a whole lot of raunchy laughs. The R rating lets McCarthy go nuts with her improv skills. The jokes, one liners and put-downs fire from McCarthy’s mouth like a semi-automatic machine gun. Unfortunately that becomes one of the big problems of The Heat. About every 4th joke from McCarthy’s Officer Mullins falls flat. Now I understand not every joke works, but when you fire off so many in a big group, there ends up being a lot of bad jokes at the end of The Heat. I wish Paul Feig would have slowed down on the laughs and concentrated on the story and background of the two eccentric characters of Ashburn and Mullins. I wanted to know about how these two weirdo outsiders came to be.
Please don’t think that I didn’t like The Heat. It’s a very funny film that made me laugh out loud numerous times. Truth is I probably even missed a few zingers that were drowned out by the laughter of the audience. I just think if a little restraint was used with the jokes, and more depth was added to the characters and story The Heat could have gone from a good movie into a great film. Still there’s no denying The Heat delivers the laughs even if I can’t remember anything about the plot or the villain. Overall, I give The Heat 3 out of 4 of potatoes.
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