A tepid honeymoon follows the heat of Bridesmaids

From the director of the box office hit Bridesmaids, Paul Feig, comes The Heat, an uplifting movie that is the first ever buddy-cop film to star two women as the lead roles. Despite the fact that we have seen this story many times before (if you have seen any of the Lethal Weapon movies, then you certainly have), Melissa McCarthy’s dazzling performance offers a hilariously-crude and refreshing take on the genre.


Sarah Ashburn (Bullock) is an uptight and arrogant FBI agent who will only be considered for the promotion she’s gunning after if she can play nice with the rest of the workforce – a difficult task considering everyone in the office hates her. She is sent up to Boston to discover the identity of a major drug lord who is piling up corpses. Shannon Mullins (McCarthy) is a loud, vulgar local cop in Boston who eventually teams up with Ashburn, whether she likes it or not.


Surprisingly, there was a great deal of depth and back story given for the protagonists which is unusual for the genre. The two women are fairly clueless in their own way, which creates great chemistry between the mismatched buddy-cop pair. McCarthy truly carries the film with her obnoxious and ridiculous persona. Bullock’s performance is entirely reminiscent of Ms Congeniality, and the reserved nerdy cop who learns to embrace life and the people around her is a bit of a tired point. Nevertheless, the pair mix it up like pros.


There is certainly a number of hilarious gags, although some of the humor relies on at least a rudimentary knowledge of Boston culture. There are plenty of stereotypical Boston accents and personalities scattered throughout the film. On the other hand, the over-the-top humor can seem a bit too aggressive and abrasive at times, but this is a crucial point of the film as director Paul Feig attempts to show that women can behave just as boorishly as men. 


While the script and plot points may be extremely clichéd and the ending drags on for about a half-hour too long, the film still has its shining moments with sparks flying between Bullock and McCarthy. As film critic Christy Lemire points out: “The destination was predetermined long ago; the journey there is riotously funny.”



The Heat (15)


Dir: Paul Feig; US comedy, 117 mins; Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Marlon Wayans

Premiered August 22

Playing nationwide