July 1, 2013

Movie Monday: The Heat

The HeatFor some reason, the vast majority of Hollywood doesn't understand that women love movies just as much as men.  But every once in awhile, someone gets it.  Paul Feig, the director of Bridesmaids, is back with a buddy cop movie featuring two of the funniest women alive: Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock.  Now, I wasn't the biggest fan of Bridesmaids, mostly because it was approximately an hour too long.  But The Heat is a much tighter, if more conventional, movie.

Bullock plays Special Agent Ashburn, who desperately wants a promotion but first needs to prove that she can play well with others.  McCarthy plays Officer Mullins, a cop from the streets who has no desire to play well with others.  She just wants her neighborhood safe.  Once again, Bullock is relegated to the uptight role, although there are plenty of chances for her to show off her physical comedy chops.  McCarthy is the one allowed to let loose and go crazy with it.  She sells every single second of it.  I've loved McCarthy since she played Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls, and Mullins is a long way from Stars Hollow.  When McCarthy is on the screen, she owns it.  She might not be able to chase a perp down on foot, but you believe that she has the confidence and authority to get the job done.

Okay, one of my favorite things about The Heat is that when Ashburn or Mullins gets hurt then they actually act hurt.  There is no magical recovery from wounds.  My second favorite might be that there's no romantic storyline bogging down the proceedings.  The movie makes it clear that both women can get it, then backs off.  There is a nice bit of flirting that intensifies throughout the movie between Ashburn and another agent (Marlon Wayans), but not a full-blown romance.  Who knew Wayans would age so well?  (Especially when you put him in some dapper threads.)

In case you doubted it, The Heat is hilarious.  Only one moment really fell short for me, and that was because there was a great deal of blood and I am squeamish.  (And yet I was laughing at corpse humor earlier in the movie.  My squeamishness is mostly limited to blood.)   I love seeing comedies in theaters.  You don't hear the experience praised as much as special effects extravaganzas, but there's something about laughing with other people.

The Heat is a movie men and women can love.  Adding some estrogen to the buddy cop formula doesn't ruin anything.  Especially not when the movie rides on the shoulders of actors as talented as Bullock and McCarthy.  If you're looking for a funny, profanity-laden action film, then go see The Heat.

14 comments:

  1. Great review! I really want to see this movie - love both of these actresses. Anyone who doubts what an amazing actress McCarthy is needs to see Gilmore Girls, as you mention. She was a sweet, naive, clumsy chef - a far cry from the movie roles she has now. But she nails both ends of the acting spectrum!

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    1. Thanks! I hope you do get to see this one. It is amazing what a range McCarthy has.

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  2. I love both of these ladies, and I'm so happy to hear you loved this one. I'm hoping to see it sometime soon; my mom really wants to go as well. Comedies in the theater are great, definitely!

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    1. Hope you and your mom make it out soon!

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  3. I don't go to a lot of movies, but this is one I want to see. I'm trying to make plans with some of my girlfriends to see it this weekend. Thanks for the great review!

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    1. Have fun! I bet that will be a great night out.

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  4. Ok, I'm convinced. As soon as this hits Redbox I'm doing a girls' movie night!

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    1. I love Redbox so much. It makes girls' movie nights easy and cheap.

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  5. I am REALLY looking forward to seeing this. I loved Sandra Bulloch's character in Miss Congeniality, and this seems to be that character without the suggestion that she has to change to suit anyone's idea of "ideal." And it looks like it is going to be funny. After a summer without a single female lead in any movie, I can't express how thankful I am to see this coming!

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    1. Yeah, the only suggestion that she needs to change is that she needs to work a bit better with others to be an effective leader. And there's definitely no suggestion that Mullins needs to change.

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  6. I'm not sure I want to see this as I don't tend to like movies with a lot of swearing but I'm glad to see your assessment that it's better than Bridesmaids, which I thought had too much swearing and was way too long. I'm also glad it was a hit and hope for more movies starring women!

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    1. It has a lot of swearing, but really only from McCarthy's character. So probably less swearing total than Bridesmaids.

      And I haven't compared the runtimes, but it certainly felt shorter.

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  7. Always nice to hear about a movie that features women in the lead roles and doesn't require a romantic sub-plot. Like you say, women enjoy movies too and we don't just want to watch drama or rom-coms all the time! I'd like to see this but I never get to the cinema so I probably won't see it until it's out on DVD. :(

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    1. Eh, DVDs are just as fun and you don't have to pay as much for the popcorn! But yeah, I like rom coms . . . but not all the time.

      I'd kill for a summer of sci-fi action blockbusters starring women.

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