I have never been a huge fan of Melissa McCarthy. In fact, I stated earlier that I find her to be the female version of Zach Galifianakis, beard included. Yes, they may be a bit harsh but when this woman pops up everywhere, playing the same damn character (annoying as tits and obnoxiously gross), certain scrutiny is allowed. That being said, just like Galifianakis, she has moments where she is genuinely funny. But I guess that’s what happens when you continually try so hard.
In The Heat, McCarthy stars as Shannon Mullins, a Boston detective looking to take down a drug lord that’s causing trouble in her neighborhood and in her family (in which she’s the only one that does not have an accent). Unfortunately for Mullins, the case presented is much larger than what she can handle on her own and FBI agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock), is brought into take over. Seeing as Mullins is the brash, foul-mouthed, dirty dick you’d never want to cross, she refuses to give up the case and reluctantly agrees to help Ashburn bring down the bad guy before more people get hurt. And for the sake of comedy, Ashburn is a complete tight-ass who has no moments to relax, and finds herself having to learn about easing up a bit in order to earn a promotion she’s seeking. It’s a very cliche plot we have seen dozens of times and is one of my biggest complaints about the film.
Directed by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids), The Heat does very little to add to the (not so) buddy-cop genre, and thinks that implanting two females in the roles, instead of the usual males, is something original. However, the plot is still the same, no matter which way you swing, and leaves a lot to be desired. The familiar plot leaves little room for originality and the humor strung throughout the story attempts to be the film’s salvation. McCarthy dons the tough-girl approach to every single aspect of her life, from catching street scum to even talking with her family, and her Joe Pesci-level foul mouth is kind of funny at first, but as the film continues it becomes its own gimmick. Bullock, just like McCarthy, plays a repeat character we’ve seen her do a handful of times, and her cold, by-the-book Ashburn is just as much of a caricature in order to mirror the over-the-top Mullins. And while the two characters are vastly different from one another, the two actresses eventually find their chemistry a little more than halfway through the film. Luckily, The Heat has a great supporting cast featuring Michael McDonald (of Mad TV), Taran Killam, Marlon Wayans, and Thomas F. Wilson (Bif from Back to the Future).
Criticism aside, I did not hate The Heat. I hold a lot against it, as it’s recycling the same stuff we’ve seen on both a plot and acting standpoint countless times. As far as comedies go, there is a lot worse out there. And that’s where I find myself struggling with my final thoughts and score for the movie. As a stand alone film, it’s severely flawed and somewhat irritating but compared to everything else out there, it’s a step above a pack that has become increasingly terrible and stale. It’s like comparing an okay apple to rotten oranges. Both are far from good, but if you’re hungry, you’re going to eat the apple. And I think that same comparison can be placed upon McCarthy. While she’s not everyone’s cup of tea, when you look at the comedy field it’s severely lacking in starring ladies. While she may not be the best out there, she’s all we have right now and I guess that will have to do.
some jokes really hit the mark and a particular bar sequence proves to be very entertaining
a movie that promises to deliver on raunch and violence severely lacks in both
it’s the same thing we’ve seen so many times before, but this time with two X chromosomes