There is a moment halfway through The Heat when Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock blows a peanut shell out of her nostril. It is hilarious yet not as outrageous as it would make you believe, much like the film itself.
The buddy-cop movie has always been a massive hit with cinemagoers. You only have to glance through the titles in the genre to see Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys and, of course, Beverley Hills Cop: all major blockbusters on their release. Audiences love a crime-fighting duo with on-screen chemistry and plenty of sass. The Heat pays homage to the genre whilst trying to defy the conventions.
Sandra Bullock is FBI special agent Ashburn, an uptight, by-the-book, woman of the law in search of a big promotion. Melissa McCarthy plays Officer Mullins, an impulsive unconventional officer who will go rogue to bring in the criminals. The two must work together to bring down a drugs lord in Boston and, of course, hate one another but have to learn to work together to ensure justice prevails.
The Heat is directed by Paul Feig, whose last movie was Bridesmaids. It is a funny, enjoyable buddy-cop romp but it doesn’t quite succeed on challenging the conventions. Both characters are brilliant, strong female leads that, despite the hiccups and clashes in personality, are excellent at their jobs. Aside from that, the film borrows heavily from the buddy-cop movie franchises before and doesn’t bring much else to the table.
Despite this, The Heat does deliver on laughs. Bullock plays it straight as Ashburn, only occasionally slipping into her Miss Congeniality cop routine and is likeable as always. But the movie belongs to McCarthy, who whilst in danger of always playing the tomboy, plays it so well that she steals every scene she is in. Her foul mouth and abrasive language create a brilliant tension between the two leads, and her one-liners are hilarious.
The film has plenty of action, car chases and stupidity to keep the plot running to its predictable climax. With laugh-out-loud moments and a star turn from McCarthy, it will undoubtedly do well at the box office. See it without expecting it to be in the same league as Bridesmaids and you will probably love it, but it is a throwaway buddy-cop movie that just falls short of delivering what it promises.
The Heat is released nationwide on 31st July 2013.
Watch the trailer for The Heat here: