Friday, December 20, 2013

The Heat Review

The Heat Review
Usually, with buddy cop movies, you know what your getting into. It has seemed since the 1980's, nobody had anything new to say when it came to the buddy cop movie. No matter what the gender of cops the film focuses on, it's pretty much a carbon copy of a carbon copy of something else. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but a boring one. Sandra Bullock may have an Oscar on her shelf at home, but when it comes to her comedies, he usually comes up short. There was a lot about "The Heat" that rose red flags and I honestly didn't know if I'd like this or not.

I mean, looking at the synopsis, everything feels pretty familiar. Sandra Bullock plays a stern, stiff-upper-lip FBI agent who is conservative and seemingly sheltered. She is sent on an assignment in Boston and works with and butts heads with a wild, outspoken, potty-mouthed Boston detective (Melissa McCarthy). At first, they both despise each other, but eventually overcome first impressions and crack down on a group of drug dealers. Yes, Sandra's character shows off her wild side in order to stop the bad guys. Yes, McCarthy's character has a family member who is immersed in drugs. All the regular cliches are there, with all that said what did I think?

I was pleasantly surprised that I liked it. The main reason "The Heat" works is because of the chemistry between Bullock and McCarthy. When you have an Academy-Award winning actress with one of the best female comic geniuses working in comedy today, you can barely go wrong. Melissa McCarthy crazy, bombastic style works very well in this movie. I also think how she is able to go from zany-funny to sincerely dramatic is well-balanced. Even though there was nothing really wrong with Bullock's performances in the "Miss Congeniality" movies or "Forces of Nature," those weren't particularly good movies. But Bullock also has a very good balance over the serious and the silly. These actresses are anchored by a great supporting cast which includes Michael Rapaport, Damon Wayans, Demian Bichir and Jane Curtin. All of whom do great work.

There are not too many action bits in the movie, but they do work. Both McCarthy and Bullock have great action timing. The script also makes great use of adding jokes in with the action. The film's action and comedy is well done, and one piece of the equation never outdoes the other. There is also a perfect blend of dry humor and slapstick humor.

Like many buddy cop movies these days, "The Heat" doesn't reinvent the genre. It doesn't bring anything particularly new or daring with the genre, but the film is still a lot of fun. You may be able to guess exactly what happens from start to finish, but that doesn't mean the movie isn't entertaining. There is a lot to like about "The Heat," a pleasant surprise indeed.

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