News

REVIEW: Melissa McCarthy brings ‘The Heat’

REVIEW: Melissa McCarthy brings ‘The Heat’

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime | Run Time: 117 min | Rated: R
Director: Paul Feig | Starring: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy

By: George Wolf

It’s interesting how a film can be so familiar and so unusual at the same time. Take The Heat. Pairing an A-list movie star with a proven comic talent for a buddy cop comedy is hardly a fresh idea. 48 Hours, Rush Hour, The Other Guys – it’s been done, and it doesn’t always work. Still, it is a well-worn concept that often delivers enough laughs to merit a couple of hours.

Now, thanks mostly to the deserved popularity of Bridesmaids, it has finally occurred to someone in Hollywood that women can shoulder an R-rated comedy. So, bro-mance is not a requirement for this odd couple caper, in which both cops are women – specifically, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.

Bullock is the uptight Ashburn to McCarthy’s loose cannon Mullins, the Felix to her Oscar, the Danny Glover to her Mel Gibson. They’ve been paired against their wills to ferret out a Boston drug lord. Maybe they’ll exploit each other’s foibles in the process, maybe even find an unexpected friend. (I’ll give them this – at no time does either detective say she is getting too old for this shit.)

The two leads fill the requisite roles quite well, Bullock’s anal-retentive performance is the perfect foil for McCarthy’s unkempt profanity volcano. Bullock keeps pace admirably, but McCarthy is such an inexhaustible comedy explosion that the rest of the cast doesn’t have to work too hard. Her every line feels improvised, giving Katie Dippold’s otherwise predictable script much needed vitality.

McCarthy’s riotous performance honestly outshines everything about a film that’s content to coast on the novelty of female casting. Nothing else about The Heat bears remark – clichéd comedy trappings familiarly staged and directed, with Sandra Bullock relying on her Miss Congeniality stylings. It’s not terrible, but certainly nothing to write home about.

But there is nothing stale about McCarthy. Her talent for physical gags, her impeccable timing, and her bottomless well of one-liners gives every scene, however tired, the opportunity for a laugh.

Verdict 3 Stars

Read more reviews by George Wolf.

Recent Headlines

1 hour ago in Music

Rock Hall says Jimi Hendrix at Monterey ‘greatest’ festival moment

Fresh
jimi

Fans vote on the top 10 music festival performances of all time. Do you agree with the list?

today in Entertainment

Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson close to signing on for ‘Jungle Book’

lupita

Idris Elba will voice the villainous tiger Shere Khan in the latest adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's adventure tale.

today in Entertainment

John Leguizamo chops off fingertip during filming of ‘Chef’

leguizamo

The actor came away from filming with a new-found respect for kitchen staff, a few tips and a great party tale.

today in Sports

Yankees Pineda ejected for substance on neck

pine

Pitchers are not allowed to use foreign substances to give them a better grip on the ball.

today in Sports

Seahawks, Packers kick off NFL season

nfl

The Seattle Seahawks open the defense of their Super Bowl crown and kick off the 2014-15 season at home against Green Bay.

Bellingham Traffic