Exploring the buddy-cop genre in different and gross out ways, The Heat is a genre comedy that knows its roots, especially shown with the opening titles. It’s been tried before with series like Cagney & Lacey , but we’ve never really had a good female buddy-cop film. Do Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy manage to break the mould? Read on to find out.

The rift

Like with all buddy-cop films, the character interactions between the main protagonists are essential. Most notably, there’s got to be friction. The Hea t kicks that up a notch, not only having widely differing personalities, but also having an FBI agent work alongside a regular cop. That’s right, they kick the habit of the FBI coming in, taking control and screwing things up further. And that’s just the beginning.

The heat image 2 If you watch the trailer for The Heat , the first thing you’ll notice is that it breaks stereotypes or plays with them. Bullock’s character is not only competent, but also the MOST competent FBI agent in the film. She, much like Nicholas Angel in Hot Fuzz gets shifted, because she makes everybody else look bad. So, right from the get go, you feel her pain in having to deal with idiots that simply get in her way.

Reversal

On the flip side, we have McCarthy who is a foul mouthed, gritty and grandiose regular cop. She’s good at her job, but equally as disliked. Her methods are usually rough, yet effective. In fact, I cannot see how the movie would actually work without both McCarthy and the reversal of expectations. It goes to the extent that only one person hits on Ashburn (Bullock), which in comparison to Mullins (McCarthy) fades into comparison.

The reversal generated a lot, but not all of the humour. The tensions between Bullock and McCarthy play very well, leading to some awkwardly hilarious rivalries at times. If there’s a film to put McCarthy on the map, I think this is it. Playing a bigger role than in Bridesmaids and building off the interest in Identity Thief , she’s letting everyone know in Hollywood that to be a successful actress, you don’t need to be meek, a vision of perfection or do sappy chick flicks. You need balls.

Emily King’s thoughts

Emcouldbebetter The first thing that struck me about this film is that this is at least the third film in which Sandra Bullock plays an FBI agent. While I think she plays the fish-out-of-water-FBI-agent stereotype well (she’s had plenty of practice now) I couldn’t stop wondering what the role would have been like with Ashburn’s role fulfilled by someone like Halle Berry. Casting aside – I did like the dynamic that developed between Ashburn and Mullins.
Apart from the gross-outness of Mullins character, her family and neighbourhood offered a superb piece of exposition without Mullins having to go into some drab motherly like explanation about why she became a cop. The weird thing is that the character would probably have been equally at home riding the streets of Boston while wearing a cowl – such was the adversial nature of her character. I liked how she didn’t need the law to be the law.

paulcouldbebetter Worth watching?

If like me, this summer, you’re feeling a bit inundated with films piled high with special effects that take themselves way too seriously – then  The Heat  is a good antidote. Just don’t expect anything special.

The Heat is out in cinemas now. We bought our own tickets.