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.
Like with all buddy-cop films, the character interactions between the main protagonists are essential. Most notably, there’s got to be friction. The Heat 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.
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.
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
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.