Friday, June 28, 2013

The Heat Movie Review

Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy (r) star in The Heat

The Heat is Off

I have to ask, is it all that novel to recycle something we've seen a thousand times before... in the case of Paul Feig's new comedy The Heat, the "buddy cop movie?" Sure there's the obvious... Casting two female leads (Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy) but as impressive as they are, Feig's film has nothing beyond its novelty. Opposites attract, but 117 minutes of senseless profanity, Don Rickles-like insults and potty humor stuffed down an audience's throat isn't my idea of entertainment.

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: Uptight FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) and foul-mouthed Boston cop Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) couldn't be more incompatible. But when they join forces to bring down a ruthless drug lord, they become the last thing anyone expected: buddies. From Paul Feig, director of "Bridesmaids."

What’s Best: I was bored to tears, but there's no denying that this kind of funny works on some level: Over half of our screening audience was in stitches throughout. I finally joined them during a botched tracheotomy (hysterical) and the occasional jab between the well-matched stars. Both Bullock and McCarthy oversell it a bit, but it's hard not to like/love them.

What’s Not: Someone needs to advise McCarthy to take it easy on the mean spiritedness. She's a remarkable talent, but lazy directors appear content to saddle her with crass, predictable material. Speaking of mean, why does one recurring bad guy have to insult our heroines not once, not twice but three times? 'You're the first chick over 40 to give me a boner,' 'You guys look even older in this lighting,' and 'You guys get less attractive each time I see you.' Talk about beating a dead (old?) horse into the ground.

Besides ageism, The Heat takes turns beating up the Irish, Albinos, Hispanics (Puss in Boots, I'm assuming was a reference to a guy who sounds like Antonio Banderas) and of course African Americans ('9 out of 10 guys I fu*k are black guys' immediately before knocking an African American to the ground with a watermelon. P.S. The guy was a drug dealer (shocker.) Can't we all just get along?

Best Line: When Mullins (McCarthy) recites her dream day (filled with drugs and all sorts of illegal activities) Ashburn (Bullock) has to ask, 'What is this, Training Day?' Unfortunately, the rest of the time we're left with flat one-liners like, 'Eat my big fu*king Irish ass,' 'Who's your wife, a five pound bag of flour with a hole in it?' and 'You look like one of the Campbell Soup kids who grew up and became an alcoholic." Wake me when you stop laughing.

Overall: It's hard to get past the buddy cop clich├ęs  and suspect casting (MADtv's Michael McDonald as a ruthless villain?) I enjoy raunchy as much as (probably more than) the next guy, but it feels terribly forced when delivered by Feig. Odd twists of drama (a guy getting blown up, Mullins' brother shot in the head, etc.) come out of nowhere and just don't fit. I like Bullock and McCarthy: I just wish they were together in something else.