The Heat (2013)

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Buddy cop comedies are an enduring trend in the film world. A reckless cop who goes against the grain to get the results needed, and one who sticks to the rules.  Both eventually put their differences aside to get the bad guy.  Well, after classics such as Lethal Weapon and Dragnet, it’s time for the women to get in on the action with the latest film by Bridesmaids director Paul Feig.

With the hope of a promotion, uptight FBI agent Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) relocates from New York to Boston to hunt down a drug overlord, reluctantly teaming up with crude local cop Mullins (Melissa McCarthy), whose streetwise smarts soon clash with the arrogant Ashburn.

The trend of male-dominated buddy cop comedies is an ever-present thorn in The Heat’s side, as its female protagonists feel the need to be taken seriously as a person with a badge.  From chasing down drug dealers to finding secret stashes, there is a serious undertone of girl power throughout the film – a sentiment similar to the immensely successful Bridesmaids. This unfortunately plays against Bullock and McCarthy, as writer Katie Dippold’s script loaded with put-downs and comebacks lack the same punch, effectively watering down the comedy with one particular joke being used once too often.

However, one of the reasons why buddy comedies are so effective is due to the chemistry due to the mismatched partners in question.  When they are both on-screen, Bullock and McCarthy are enjoyable – McCarthy is hilarious as the tough-as-nails cop, leading the socially awkward Ashburn away from the straight and narrow and it is this dynamic, formulaic it may be, which saves the film.

The Heat is occasionally hilarious yet predictable, supported by the combined comedic skills of Bullock and McCarthy.

The Heat is out in UK cinemas on Wednesday 31st July.

Director: Paul Feig
Writer: Katie Dippold
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Demian Bichir
Runtime: 117 min
Country: USA

Film Rating: ★★★☆☆

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