Directed Paul Feig
Starring: Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy
All of my favorite elements have come together in The Heat. One of my favorites, Paul Feig, the creator of Freaks and Geeks and the director of Bridesmaids (not to mention the principal from the television series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) directs. My doppleganger/ fantastical actress Sandra Bullock and my future drinking buddy Melissa McCarthy star. And it’s a buddy cop film with two chicks. Let’s just see if all of the ingredients actually make a delicious stew, or if the Hollywood formula spoils my lunch.
First off, let me warn movie snobs out there that this will NOT be brain surgery. Nobody’s getting nominated for an Oscar. There is NOTHING groundbreaking about this movie. Now, if all of the pretentious snobs have stopped reading, let me continue. The Heat is a female buddy cop film set in Boston, MA. Right off the bat, they have me. More films should be made in Boston, as it is incredibly rich in history, hilarity, and heart.
The film starts with Sarah Ashburn, played by Sandra Bullock, who has the sterility of her character in The Blind Side and the determined, rather masculine characteristics of Gracie Hart in Miss Congeniality. Clearly, this should be a walk in the park for Ms. Bullock. Ashburn is a brilliant FBI agent who has no family and no friends. She just has her job, and everyone at work hates her for being a know-it-all, goody-two-shoes. She then finds out that her boss is being promoted, which means that she herself could be promoted. Then, with fierce determination, she decides to really impress her boss by quickly closing her next case in Boston, involving a huge drug ring.
We then find ourselves in Boston, watching Buster from Arrested Development trying to pick up a young prostitute. Detective Shannon Mullins, played by McCarthy, is watching in a nearby car. And in true McCarthy fashion, she goes over, busts the dude… and even calls his wife. Yep, she’s a bad ass… potty mouth and all. She brings in a young guy for interrogation who’s been selling drugs because maybe he will be a lead for a case she’s been working on… for a huge drug ring… uh oh. I think we all know where THIS is going. Yes, Ashburn and Mullins are on the same case, and they must **GASP** look past their differences to close this case. (I told you it wasn’t brain surgery).
So, tale as old as time; true as it can be: Prude-y and the Slob… that’s pretty much what it boils down to. We eventually hear about the ladies’ backgrounds. Ashburn was a foster kid, bumped around from house to house, while Mullins has a large, crazy, loud, stereotypical Bostonian family… complete with meathead brothers with slutty girlfriends. The scenes with the Mullins were the best! Feig got local actors to fill out the rest of the family, and I have NO idea how McCarthy and Bullock kept a straight face during scenes with them. My favorite is the scene where they are all gathered around the dinner table interrogating Ashburn… at one point asking if she’s a man. A lot of this scene was ad-libbed, which explains why it’s so laugh out loud funny.
Also in Mullins’ family is Shannon’s brother, Jason, who has recently been let out of prison for drug dealing. Funny thing is, Shannon put Jason in prison. And yet even funnier, is that the only person in the family who talks to Shannon is Jason himself. The rest of the family still hates her. Anyway, now the stakes are higher for Detective Mullins. She must take down this monster drug kingpin, Larkin, before he gets to Jason again.
Obviously, there are fights between Ashburn and Mullins on how to run affairs. Then there’s the even more obvious reconciliation scene where the two get plastered in a seedy bar. They get in trouble with the Police Department and the FBI, but they both come together in the end to get those bad guys! But will they catch Larkin and still retain their friendship? HA, I think you guys already know the answer to that one.
I think that Melissa McCarthy is physical comedy gold. She is like the female Chris Farley (may he rest), but (to me) better because she can still glam it up and be drop dead gorgeous. THAT is my only complaint for McCarthy in this movie. Yes, she plays the foul mouthed, sloppy, funny friend very well, but one day, I want to see her do something strikingly different. As far as Bullock goes, she’s pretty good as well. But while I appreciate that she is playing someone different, I still wish there would have been a little more heart in her performance.
The best part of this movie is the chemistry between Bullock and McCarthy. They are like the hotter version of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. By themselves, they’re just playing half-hearted versions of roles they’ve kinda done in the past, but together they give off a really fun, infectious energy that makes any girl want to pick up a gun a fight crime with these two. It’s super predicable, but a fun ride.
I could really get used to watching films on Blu-Ray now. At first, I really didn’t see why in the world we would forgo DVDs for a little bit better quality. But after going back and forth from DVD to Blu-Ray, I see what everyone is talking about. The video looks spectacular, and I LOVE the shots of Boston. Not all parts are beautiful, not all parts are historic… but then again, that’s Boston. It’s loud, obnoxious, beautiful, tawdry, and such an important part of America. Shot in 1.85:1, you will see everything, and sometimes you will see things you don’t want to see (watch out for the cringe-worthy scene where Ashburn attempts to give a choking man at Denny’s an emergency tracheotomy). Everybody looks beautiful in this film as well (as they usually do in Hollywood)… especially Marlon Wayons, who plays another special agent in the FBI. Oh, I hope to see him in the sequel (cue playful growl).
Audio is fantastical as well. Another thing that I LOVED about this movie was the soundtrack, as it was loaded with heavy female hip hop and rock tracks. There’s one song that I have to buy and put on my morning running mix entitled, “Left Ey3” by Kraeyshawn. The hook goes:
Caught my man cheating on me
Rolling though the west side
‘Bout to burn this $#@!ing house down
Like I’m Left Eye (Rest in Peace)
Like I’m Left Eye
‘Bout to burn this @$#%!%!*er down like I’m Left Eye
Ladies, if that doesn’t want to make you want to get up and kick the crap outta something and pretend like it’s an ex… you need to check your pulse, ‘cause you might be dead. Sound is very well mixed and sounds great on the Blu-Ray.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The packaging is great, standard for a Blu-Ray. Very clean and eye catching, and you get a DVD/ digital copy of the film for your other electronics. The bonus features are nothing short of amazeballs. There are a bazillion… or maybe just seven ways, to watch this entire film: The original theatrical release, the extended unrated director’s cut, commentary from the director and others, commentary from Melissa McCarthy and others, commentary from the Mullins (yes, McCarthy’s HILARIOUS family, in character), the audio track from the original premiere (which just make the film sound like a sitcom), AND a Riff Trax with the original cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000. These commentaries are really insightful, hilarious, and wonderful, except for the premiere theater soundtrack… you can skip that one. My favorite by far is the “Mullins” commentary featuring the slutty girlfriends. One of my favorite lines is, “This music is like real good. I should give this music to my Zumba teacher. So, we can like dance all slutty to the hip hop music.”
There is also a great “Making Of” Documentary, extended scenes, deleted scenes, and a blooper reel. This stuff is not to be missed because honestly a lot of these bonus features are more entertaining than the film itself. I feel that the thing that saves this film is the amount of fun everyone had making it, and you really get to see that in the bonus features.
Overall (Not an Average)
Fun. Expect nothing more and nothing less. This is a great film to watch with a whole bunch of girlfriends (unless dudes, you like vagina jokes… GOOD vagina jokes, but lady part jokes nonetheless) or as a mindless, relaxing night in, kind of movie. I want to make a movie with my best friend where we can be super goofy, pretend to get wasted, and kick lots and lots of bad guy butt. It’s not as well executed as Bridesmaids, but it’s a helluva lot better than the movie that McCarthy did with Jason Bateman…