Starring Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Marlon Wayans, Taran Killam, Demian Bichir, Michael Rappaport, Tony Hale, Jane Curtin, Ben Falcone, Spoken Reasons, Michael McDonald, Kaitlin Olson, Joey McIntyre, Nate Corddry.
Directed by Paul Feig
Without a doubt, I can say immediately that The Heat is the funniest comedy of the summer. And probably, so far this year. I’ve heard the “complaints”, that the comedy itself is formulaic, yet most movies are formulaic in Hollywood, that doesn’t mean that they’re bad films. The Heat is packed with laughs, plenty that weren’t in the trailer, and is definitely a must-see movie this summer.
FBI Agent Sarah Ashburn (Bullock) is one of the best agents working. However, her lack of bedside manner, and a tendency to brag, cause everyone she works with to hate her. She wants to be promoted, but her boss (Bichir) is hesitant to promote her because no one likes her. Instead, she gets sent to Boston on a case where a drug dealer is chopping up the bodies of his competition. They don’t know who the dealer is, because no one has seen him. Once she gets there, she ends up needing to question the drug dealing perp (Reasons) that was just brought in by a wildly unhinged Boston PD Shannon Mullins (McCarthy).
The two bicker and fight throughout the rest of the movie, struggling to work together to solve the case. They’re an absurdly mismatched pair, but they end up bringing the best out in each other. Things start to get personal when Shannon’s brother (Rappaport) is released from prison, and gets involved with the dealer they are looking for, and suddenly she has a personal interest in the case.
McCarthy is again hilarious here, and the haters that think she’s too fat to be a star can go fly a kite. She’s brilliant. She loves playing these absurd characters, and Shannon Mullins is another one for the books. She’s a badass cop who will do anything to catch a criminal. She doesn’t play by the rules, and she doesn’t work well with others. She’s an aggressive version of Bullock’s character. Bullock is also good here, playing the straight arrow to McCarthy, so it doesn’t become too slapstick.
The supporting cast is pretty solid, except Taran Killam, who I usually enjoy on Saturday Night Live. Here, he’s asked to play a pretty straight character, and I have to say he’s painfully bad. It’s one of the worst, if not the worst acting I’ve seen on screen this year. I can’t ignore it, it has to be brought up. It was like someone grabbed a random guy from the street and told him to be in the movie, and he had no idea what was going on. He has this constant confused look like he either can’t remember his lines, or remember why he’s supposed to be where he is. One of SNL’s funniest performers has been relegated to a god awful role he’ll be looking to shake from memory in the years to come.
As far as the plot goes, it is pretty standard. Other cop films have used the same formula before (Beverly Hills Cop used a reverse formula), so there isn’t anything new happening. But, if you’re a Melissa McCarthy fan, you’ll love what she brings to the formula. And, even if you haven’t tasted the McCarthy comedy before, this film is solid enough to make you a fan. It’s more consistent than Hangover 3, and carries more laughs than The Internship. It’s what you’ve been waiting for: something to make you laugh.
FINAL GRADE: A-