I went to see The Heat on a whim this weekend. When I first saw the trailers for the film a few months ago, I didn’t think too much of it. Buddy cop movie with Sandra Bullock playing some kind of twisted version of her Miss Congeniality character and Melissa McCarthy, who seems to be getting typecast as this type of brash, less than savory character in many of her silver screen roles. I thought it would be funny but didn’t think that many people would care. It has, however, gotten some good press, and I’m hearing everyone from my younger brother to Harry Shum Jr. recommend the film to others.
SO. Buddy cop film where the twist is female cops. I laughed and laughed. Since it’s the feature debut of a screenwriter, it’s only right that the jokes are great in this movie. I was tickled pink seeing Tom Wilson, best known for playing Biff Tannen et al. in the Back to the Future trilogy. (I was somehow watching The Heat with 2 people who had no idea what I was talking about when I pointed this out. What. Buttheads.) Bullock and McCarthy are also pretty safe bets as far as comedy goes. Their roles didn’t challenge them to portray characters they haven’t portrayed before (Bullock as the uptight and therefore unlikable and therefore lonely Ashburn; McCarthy as loud and brash and messy Mullins) but they are reliable characters that play a reliable foil to each other.
Plotwise, The Heat was pretty predictable. I wasn’t disappointed by the predictability moreso than I was disappointed by how the movie seemed to actually try quite hard to catch you by surprise. Oy.
When a movie like this focuses SO HARD on the two leads, the other characters get really… just blah. You don’t really know why they’re there or what to do with them. I got a little giggle out of seeing “Gina… Jessica Chaffin | Gina’s Boobs… Jessica Chaffin’s Boobs” during the credits and all (and yes, they did merit their own credit line, spilling out of Chaffin’s top for an agonizing minute) but some of the characters just flopped around wanting and deserving more but not getting it: Wilson’s sad and pathetic Boston PD chief, Marlon Wayans as the wannabe romantic opposite to Bullock, Spoken Reasons as the hilarious small-time drug dealer.
I really liked The Heat. I felt like there was potential for much more, but it was really funny. This was a good feature debut for director Katie Dippold (who writes for the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation). There is no reason why anyone should doubt the hilarity of a buddy-cop movie that stars women instead of men. Women are funny, end of discussion.