R-Rated madness – Over the past decade we have seen comedies go from clean to dirty in a big way. Sure, there have always been R-Rated comedies, but up until the turn of the century, there have been very few that actually made an impact. Maybe that’s just a result of how the entire film industry has changed over the years or maybe all those filmmakers back in the day were just too scared to “go there.” Either way, we have seen an influx of R-Rated comedies hit the big screen and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. So, thank Todd Phillips and “The Hangover” series for opening that door even wider so that comedies like “The Heat” can come in and shine.
What’s it about? Comedies are never built around the story, but they do need some solid ground to be successful and here, that was built around FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) and Detective Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy). For Ashburn, she just wanted to keep building her resume and earn what she felt would be a much deserved promotion. For Mullins, she just liked the rush of chasing bad guys and catching them off guard. I mean, these two couldn’t be more opposite and at first, only got in each other’s way when assigned to the same case. But, after a while they quickly recognize they can be an asset to each other. Ashburn realizes Mullins extreme local knowledge can help and Mullins realizes she can finally get access to high-level FBI intelligence, something she had always craved. The result was one ridiculous combination that the streets of Boston were not ready for, especially when these two finally molded together as one.
Who was in it? When you first glance at this cast, only one name truly stands out. Sandra Bullock is one of those actresses in Hollywood that you either love or hate. Those fans of hers can’t get enough of her goofy posture and odd mannerisms. But, others like yours truly can only handle so much of her. Don’t get me wrong, she has some talent, but not enough to carry a film by herself. And luckily here, she didn’t have to as Melissa McCarthy was more than willing to take those reigns. What a run McCarthy has been on since grossing everyone out in “Bridesmaids.” That might have only been three years ago, but since then she has been given her own TV sitcom (Mike & Molly) and starred in a host of blockbuster comedies.
That’s striking while the iron is hot and who could blame here, given prior to “Bridesmaids,” only fans of TV’s Gilmore Girls had ever seen or heard of her. That’s impressive and I think she is only getting better as this role here demonstrates. I mean, she has so many moments in this film that I almost want to watch it again to catch stuff that I missed while laughing so hard. She and Bullock were a much better duo than I thought they would be and overall it was fun to watch their back and forth. And that was good considering there wasn’t much of a supporting cast outside several hilarious moments from Bill Burr, playing one of McCarthy’s brothers. This guy is a natural both as a comedian and actor, so we’ll see if he takes that same road Kevin Hart has taken into Hollywood.
Comedic touch – It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then we will be introduced to a director that ‘just gets it.’ There’s no beating around the bush or laying in subtle humor with Paul Feig. Nope, this guy goes for the juggler with everything he does and that’s fine by me. And the best part is, most people reading this have never heard of him but have laughed many times as a result of his directing. Feig made his name in TV, having directed numerous episodes for shows like The Office, Arrested Development and Nurse Jackie. Just those three TV series tell a lot about his character, but I think what he is starting to show in film is telling even more. “Bridesmaids” may be Feig’s unofficial coming out party, but I have a feeling “The Heat” might become his after party once people start telling their friends about it. This is without a doubt one of those film’s you recommend and that’s never a bad thing, no matter the genre. So, I give Feig a lot of credit for using McCarthy’s natural talent in the greatest way possible to put this film somewhere on the list of buddy comedies you should watch. Plus it stars two leading females, which in itself is unique for Hollywood. So, who cares if it feels like something we have seen before. All I know is it was funny and that’s really all that matters.
Bottom Line – There’s no doubt on the surface “The Heat” doesn’t look like a whole lot. Most comedies don’t, but passing on this one is a mistake in my mind as it had more laughs than expected and certainly can be one of those films you wind up watching on TV every time it pops up on your cable or satellite guide.
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