Film: “The Heat”; Cast: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Demian Bachir, Dan Bakkedahl, Bill Burr, Jane Curtin, Taran Killam, Michael McDonald, Joey McIntyre and Michael Rappaport, Director: Paul Feig; Rating: **
This one is a vodka shot! You gulp it down in one go and you wait to realise that it has hit your funny bone.
Conventionally speaking, the buddy cop movie is the domain of men. The formula here is nothing new. You have seen it many times before, but the pairing of Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy is what makes you warm up to “The Heat”.
While hedging for a promotion, the prudish FBI Special Agent from New York, Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock), a methodical investigator with a reputation for showmanship and arrogance, is forced to partner Boston street-level officer Shannon Mullins (Melisa McCarthy) to track down a drug lord before his next big shipment comes in.
What keeps you amused is to see how the straight-laced Ashburn deals with a foul-mouthed, uncouth Mullins, especially when they start off on the wrong foot. What follows is that Ashburn gets a directive to allow Mullins’ involvement in her case and neither is initially pleased.
However, Ashburn’s buttoned-up tactics paired with Mullins’ penchant for gun waving unite the two in a reluctant mutual respect. Then slowly, in a formulaic process, they bond over drinks, family matters, passion and commitment towards their job.
With a variation in the plot points and set-ups, there is nothing that you’ve never witnessed before, but it’s how it is presented that makes you chuckle. It’s the fine moments of slapstick comedy that sticks out in phases. And one such moment is how Shannon deals with her undertrials and plays Russian roulette to extract information. The stake is high, and the moment priceless. It keeps you in splits.
The chemistry between Bullock and McCarthy is what brings the screen to life. McCarthy steals the show and gets the maximum laughs for her shrewd performance. Bullock on the other hand, with her restrained onscreen personality, is used as a foil character that ups McCarthy’s presence. All the others in the cast, though they performed well, were only doing their part. None had “their” moment of glory.
Kattie Dippold’s script is lukewarm and does not gather momentum to give a boiling point. The dialogues are staid. The gags, especially the Mullins’ family get-together scene seemed very obligatory and forced, so did the escapade hungama.
Coming from director Paul Feig, who had previously given us the fabulous Oscar nominated “Bridesmaids”, “The Heat”, with its odd-couple-cops and a vague drug-bust plot, is a big letdown.