Sometimes it feels like people who make movies are not trying anymore. Especially in the comedy realm as we see the same type of plot and jokes seemingly every year. Sure, they try to spin it with different settings and characters but you all can see the blandness. Most comedies today are another layer of paint on a wall that has too much coats on it already. The Heat tries to not fall into this category by having some good talent both behind and in front of the camera. What happens though is that The Heat winds up being the very definition of the word ‘average’.
Right off the bat this movie struggles with having the worst premise a comedy could have. How many times have we seen the angle of two people, who are completely opposite of each other, having to work together? By the book FBI Agent Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) and extreme Police Officer Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) somehow have to not kill each other while working on a drug smuggling case. The actual plot of the movie is haphazardly put together as it is more random scenes of these two working together. The story itself though is riddled with so much clichés and plot devices it is not hard to see where this movie is going.
Another thing that is slightly annoying about this movie is how these two characters act. Katie Dippold went overboard with the characterizations of both Bullock and McCarthy. Not only do these two have to be the opposite of each other but they also seem to have several mental issues. Bullock has to be so prim and proper she is practically a robot the entire movie. Then when she finally decides to act human we get the same old tired jokes when it comes to this type of character. While McCarthy’s character is funny, she is also an absolute maniac and it makes you wonder how she hasn’t been fired from the job yet. These two don’t feel human and considering how everyone else acts in this movie it really stands out.
As mentioned before, Melissa McCarthy is very funny in this and is the sole reason of watching. Her presence is like no other right now both on the big and small screen. Everything she does in this film evokes some kind of laugh which is very rare for a performer these days. There are three things about her that remind you of several legendary comedians. She has the physical prowess of Chris Farley, the dry improvisation of Madeline Kahn, and her presence can be the ‘glue’ to a mediocre picture ala Phil Hartman. Those traits are a factor for her role in this movie because if anyone else were put in her place there would be nothing outstanding to mention here.
Paul Feig was a good choice as director because of his recent track record. Bridesmaids was a huge success and he honestly wants to make good comedies with a female centric lead. For the most part though you can tell his direction, apart from action scenes, was very lackadaisical and he let these people have fun with their roles. One thing that is hard not to notice though is how clunky the editing is. It’s surprising because Editors Jay Deuby and Brent White work on nothing but comedies so this should be a breeze for them. Some of the transitions though are very choppy and scenes could have been cut tighter. That and the soundtrack is not used properly and it’ll weave in and out for barely five seconds in a scene. This had a 1970s, cop drama feel going into the opening credits and quite frankly the film should have stuck with that.
If you haven’t got the gist of this review let it be repeated one more time: This movie’s premise is overdone. Nothing about this movie is original from the plot, to the characters, and the overall tone. There is a great performance by Melissa McCarthy but aside from her nothing else is memorable here. This movie also shows that just because you had a big hit on your hands, ala Paul Feig with Bridesmaids, it does not mean you will have a winner with your next film. In the grand scheme of things this movie has some laughs and by no means is it the worst comedy of the year. However, in a couple of years this will be the perfect example of a film someone will try to remember in a bar but mixes it up with a movie of the exact same premise.