The Heat Movie Review
The director of Bridesmaids has put Melissa McCarthy in another movie and set her to overdrive, where she swears, swears and swears some more to comedic results. Sandra Bullock is in the movie, too, and the movie is The Heat, a funny but far from perfect buddy copy film.
The Heat is about an uptight FBI agent (Bullock) who is teamed with a rough-and-tumble Boston detective (McCarthy) to track down a drug dealer who is coincidentally connected to the detective's brother (Michael Rapaport) because that makes the story more convenient to tell. Plot is secondary to the pairing of McCarthy and Bullock, of course, and that's really what The Heat is about.
That's a good thing and a bad thing.
On the positive side, Bullock and McCarthy are both funny, and they are both funny together. McCarthy steals the show with a passionately R-rated performance where she cusses out and sarcastically destroys those around her. Bullock plays the straight [wo]man perfectly, though the movie's finest comedic moments belong to her counterpart - with the exception of the most wonderfully executed "tongue in cheek" joke ever put to film.
On the negative side, at nearly two hours long and lacking any resemblance of a memorable or interesting plot, The Heat would have benefited significantly from tighter editing, especially in the final act. Director Peter Feig presumably let his two stars ad lib quite a bit, but the consequence of doing so is a large amount of random moments that have to be managed diligently in the editing room to maintain pace and flow. A long and not particularly funny scene involving McCarthy and Bullock getting drunk at a bar could have been cut in half if not entirely, and the movie reaches a point where the story needed to get to a point. The Heat proceeds for another half an hour past that.
Despite its shortcomings, The Heat accomplishes its primary goal: it is funny. It's no Bridesmaids, but there are plenty of laughs throughout. One can only hope that in the sequel - and with $160 million earned worldwide, you can bet there will be a sequel - the filmmakers will give McCarthy and Bullock something more interesting to do, and less time to do it in.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.