Women are funny. Especially Melissa McCarthy, a live wire capable of anything. Sandra Bullock can be funny, but in a buttoned-up, run-of-the-mill romantic comedy kind of way. “The Heat” pairs the two actresses together, hoping that their opposite personalities can strike comedy gold.
Bullock is Ashburn, a pant-suit loving FBI agent sent to Boston in search of a drug kingpin. Paired with the down-to-earth police officer Mullins (McCarthy), the two tear through Boston, causing as much trouble for each other as they do the bad guys.
The cliched, generic buddy cop plot of “The Heat” works to both its advantage and detriment. The plot itself is a bore, and the film bears a close resemblance to other comedic buddy cop movies, like “21 Jump Street” and “The Other Guys,” and even borrows some comedic scenes from them that invole male private parts. The argument could even be made that “The Heat” could easily have been titled “The Other Girls.” But the lackadaisical plot allows for Bullock and McCarthy to cut loose, making some generic scenes much, much funnier than they have any right to be. It would be a treat to see these two together in a movie that, plot-wise, was at least mildly engaging.
The plot may not be as labyrinthine as something like “L.A. Confidential,” but the “The Heat” is most definitely funny. There really needs to be more women being funny films like this. Director Paul Feig, who last helmed the hilarious “Bridesmaids,” seems to be one the few in Hollywood clued in to the potential of making a mainstream female comedy where the ladies are every bit as brash and crude as the men. Feig is also smart enough to work with McCarthy again, who earned an Oscar nomination for her star-making turn in “Bridesmaids.” McCarthy is essentially playing the same ribald character, only she’s much more badass, since she’s a cop and carries a gun and whatnot. Lest you think only the women are funny in “The Heat,” there are some great turns by some of the male co-stars, especially Tony Hale and Bill Burr, who puts the “Bah” in “Bahston.”
McCarthy and Bullock really do make an outstanding comedy team. Bullock, who still looks amazing at 48, is the straight girl to McCarthy’s loose cannon. The uptight, career-minded characters Bullock tends to portray always loosen up by the end of the movie, but with someone like McCarthy loosening the reins, the results are pretty amusing. “The Heat” may mark the first time Bullock has said “motherf—–r” on screen, and its epic.
“The Heat” may be the female version of every buddy cop comedy ever made, but thanks to McCarthy and Bullock’s chemistry, its also one of the funnier. Just don’t expect to be wowed by the story.