A prim, stickler for the rules FBI agent is paired with a foul-mouthed renegade police detective in this odd-couple buddy cop movie.
Full of laughs and a touch of genuine sentiment, “The Heat” is easily destined to be one of the funniest movies of 2013.
FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is unpopular in her department due to her lack of social graces. She’s arrogant and ambitious and isn’t afraid to let everyone know it. With a promotion pending, her supervisor confronts her about her personality issues and assigns her temporarily to a drug case in Boston. If she does well on the case, the promotion is hers, in spite of her lack of popularity amongst her peers.
The issue, however, becomes the cop she’s assigned to work with in Boston. Detective Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) is a foul-mouthed, pushy, frightening individual with little regard for the rules. Mullins berates everyone in her path, using a hurricane of obscenities and an in your face, forceful manner. She’s at odds with her perps, her Captain, and her own family.
The two mix like oil and water. Ashburn ‘s professional sensibilities are completely upset. Mullins can’t tolerate her prissy, prim partner. The two spend time arguing over every aspect of how to proceed. Eventually the tables begin to turn and a bond develops, just in time to introduce Mullins’ crazy Bostonian family into the mix.
Will the two officers be able to get to the drug kingpin they’re assigned to take down? Or will they destroy each other beforehand?
Melissa McCarthy is completely let off the chain here. Her Mullins character curses like a sailor, and threatens physical violence on someone about every 15 seconds. She’s like a dog jumping and barking at people behind a chain link fence. Bullock is the perfect foil, trying to keep her dignity intact, yet causing just as much chaos with her icy propriety. Together they form a great comedic duo. It was a pleasure watching their relationship transform from adversarial to amiable. One scene stands out in particular, a night of drinking as they first become friends. It was outright hysterical watching the two of them get plastered and cause chaos in a Boston dive.
Most of the comedy derives from watching McCarthy eviscerate everyone around her, but director Paul Feig does work in his share of comedic situations as well, such as when the two try to interrogate a drug dealer by hanging him over a balcony, or when Bullock gets stabbed in the leg. The pacing is almost perfect, with a steady stream of humor combined with solid character development. By the end, I was left rooting for a sequel.
Anyone who finds Melissa McCarthy funny will be left in stitches by this film. She’s uproariously offensive, and Bullock plays the perfect foil. I hope that the get a chance to reprise these characters, I would happily attend a second movie!