4.25 out of 10
“The Heat” manages to pull off a few laughs, but ultimately the film is too long and spreads the comedy out with long gaps of narrative and character development. Sandra Bullock is annoying, but does the best she can with a superficial script. Melissa McCarthy tries to bring back some of her “Bridesmaid” magic, and does occasionally shine. The problem is that “The Heat” is a 2-hour comedy with about 20 minutes of good jokes.
“The Heat” only provides a spark of laughter, but clearly lit the fuse of an underwhelming franchise.
Any spoilers will be clearly marked so you can avoid reading them if you so choose.
“The Heat” opens in Baltimore on June 28, 2013.
There are a few really fun scenes and great jokes in “The Heat.” When Bullock and McCarthy manage to get into a flow and bounce dialogue off one another things get pretty funny. McCarthy manages to keep her comedy style alive and well and she is a blast to watch once again.
Some of the supporting cast members add a lot to the film, specifically Dan Bakkedahl as an albino DEA agent and the whole group that made up McCarthy’s character’s family. Every scene starring these actors is really good.
There are a few scenes with some decent physical comedy, specifically some of the chases and a scene in a bar. A few more of these moments would have been nice.
First of all, “The Heat” is way too long. I’m talking like 30-40 minutes too long. There is absolutely no reason for a buddy cop comedy to be two hours long. Rarely can a director keep the momentum going for that length of time. It’s like when you are eating your favorite food. From that first bite until the moment you are totally full it is pure bliss. But if you keep eating you’ll start to wonder what was so great about that food in the first place. You may even say to yourself, “I’ll never eat that again” as you reach for the Tums. I was reaching for the Tums at about the 100-minute mark of this film.
Sandra Bullock is not good for this role. It really is a combination of two things. First, the role was poorly written. The character was clichéd and boring. Even a nerdy “do-gooder” has to be interesting (see Will Ferrell in “The Other Guys” – review link). Secondly, Bullock did nothing to save the character. She is most comfortable in romantic comedies and is usually average there. She has never done much to make a character dynamic or interesting and she keeps that up in this film. Was Kristen Wiig not available?
There is way too much down time between jokes or gags. Director Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”) decided to give the audience a ton of character development and narrative. The story took an eternity to get going and then constantly stalled midstride to stop and give us a look at new characters or a peek into our main characters’ lives. The pacing was abysmal.
The Bottom Line
A few laughs is far from enough to justify this poor attempt at an age old genre. Buddy cop comedies have been around for a long time and the majority of them are better than this one. McCarthy manages to be funny and there are a few scenes that can manage to get you rolling with laughter. But at 2 hours long, this film feels like a marathon instead of a sprint. Comedies like this need to jump off to a fast start, keep the pedal down and end abruptly. Don’t give the audience a chance to catch their breath or check their watch. “The Heat” is a misnomer. This film is ice cold.