November 14, 2013

The Heat

I haven’t been watching many movies lately. Well, this week I broke my film fast with the cinematic masterpiece starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, The Heat. I had zero expectations for this movie and I probably wouldn’t even have bothered with it if my wife didn’t really want to see it. I laughed more than I thought I would, but I’m not sure if I was laughing at the jokes, or at how bad it was.

I really enjoyed Bridesmaids a couple years ago. I especially liked McCarthy’s character in that film. She didn’t have a ton of screen time, but her over-the-top character was well executed. They seemed to want her to play the same character in The Heat, but dialed up the vulgarity a couple notches. It didn’t work nearly as well. I definitely think McCarthy is a funny person, but she didn’t have a whole lot to work with here. A couple times she was asked to do the Will Farrell over-explainy schtick and it felt so awkward. Early on there was a “joke” about testicle size that made me feel bad for McCarthy that she was even in this movie.

The idea for The Heat was worthwhile. We don’t see very many buddy cop movies starring women. However, Bullock and McCarthy didn’t seem to work well together. It didn’t help that the writing was horrible, so I’m sure the actresses had little to do with the clunky interactions throughout. The film would have been better off with another script re-write, but maybe they were in a rush to push this thing out, I don’t know. I liked that it didn’t focus on gender stereotypes or try to be clever about the fact that these were female cops. I will give the writers credit in that department.

Overall The Heat fails as a comedy. The jokes are very broad. It sits in a middle ground between silly and serious, not succeeding at either one. If you want to see a buddy cop comedy, 21 Jump Street is a much better bet.

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