Be careful, Rex Reed. This “hippo” can shoot to kill.
Stuck-up, by-the-books FBI agent Sara Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is a bit of a hard fire to put out. She doesn’t work well with others; is a bit egotistical; and acts as if she knows everything that there is to do, how to do it and when. She’s just that good, and she knows it, however, that’s what also gets her ass transferred over to the Boston district, where she joins forces with tough-as-nails detective Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy). They’re obvious opposites in every stretch of the imagination, but as we all know how the saying goes: opposites do attract. And not in that type of way, either. Although it would have been pretty sexy to see these two lock lips, if only for a small bit.
Right from the beginning of the movie and hell, even before I stepped into the theater; I expected what was to be another Identity Thief. Not just because Melissa McCarthy happened to be in both movies, but because it just had all of the same rings and tones to it, except this time, with Sandra Bullock added to the mix. It was a welcome addition, I guess for the most part, but after the lackluster year of comedy that we’ve gotten so far for the year 2013, save This is the End, I was not expecting greatness nor anything recommendable for that matter. I just wanted to get the movie on with so I could go home, feed my dog, get on the computer, write some reviews, and begin to watch more movies.
But something happened. Something miraculous, you could even say because, believe it or not, I actually had a great time with this flick. And no, I did not get greatness, but I did get something recommendable so count this as your letter of recommendation already. If you want to leave, then go for it, but continue on if you’d like.
Die hard DTMMR fans, you still out there? Cool, let’s do it!
Everything I just typed up top in that description of the plot and what’s supposed to eventually happen, is nothing new or original that we haven’t seen done 100x before. However, the movie knows that and doesn’t pull any punches in knowing that either. It presents all of the clichés, conventions and obvious routes we can expect to see from a buddy-cop comedy, but give us a meaner, harder edge that isn’t all about female-empowerment and showing how chicks can do just as much justice as the guys can, but that they can still have a bunch of fun, make you laugh and also give you something to smile about on the way home. That is, until you actually get home and reality hits you in the face. Yup, only until then, does the smile go away. But, for the whole hour-and-a-half of this movie, you’ll be smiling and laughing like the dickens and that’s more than enough that I can say for most of the comedies I’ve been seeing as of late (don’t save The Internship).
Hell, it may have been a lot longer than just 90 minutes, but that didn’t bother me because I found myself laughing just as much as I did with Bridesmaids, a comedy that I thought was underrated-as-hell, but still entertaining and funny for what it was, and not what it could have been. Just like that movie, this is a comedy that knows what it is, what’s it about and isn’t trying to win any Oscars, or any tears from your eye-sockets; it’s just being funny and allowing you to have a good time. That’s what all comedies are about and even if they don’t have a hidden, underlining-meaning, then it shouldn’t really matter. As long as the movie is making you laugh and entertaining the heck out of you, then that’s all there is to it.
As I always say: nothing more, nothing less. That’s all you need, baby.
Okay, maybe I don’t always say that, but I feel as if I should be starting with that sometime soon.
And obviously, you can see where the Bridesmaids-comparisons come in because not only is this by the same director (Paul Feig), but also stars the same lady that stole the show in that one; Melissa McCarthy. Like I alluded to earlier, Identity Thief sucked beyond belief. It wasn’t funny, tried so hard to be and squandered most of the talents of everybody involved, except for McCarthy. Granted, the chick wasn’t that funny in that movie, and I think that more or less has to be a problem with the script and not her, but still; she had me realize that maybe she’s more than just the loud, rather rotund woman in all of these comedies that got by on her big mouth and her love for sticking it to the people with penises (aka, men). There was actually more to her act, as if there was a real human-being that I could connect with on some levels and feel something, anything for.
The character she plays here, Mullins, isn’t that deep or emotional, but some moments of that act still shine through, especially when she isn’t cursing and yelling at every one, while also being able to make us laugh our asses. You can tell that so much of what she does or says, is mostly improv and it hits a lot more, than it actually misses and that’s something you so rarely see in a comedy, or in the comedienne nonetheless. McCarthy sure as hell is talented and brings out the best in the material as well as her co-star, as hard of a task as that may have been to complete.
Sandra Bullock is very hot-and-cold for me. Sometimes, I think she can be very funny, as well as a strong, female-presence on screen, like we all need in our lives; but at other times, she can be really annoying and feels like she’s trying too hard to rip laughs out of our bodies. It’s more of the latter than the former, which is why I was a bit skeptical seeing what she could do with McCarthy and for the most part, the gal holds her own and keeps it just as funny on her end of the bargain, as much as it is on McCarthy’s. Together, they have a great chemistry that develops overtime and one that you actually believe in, despite them both two totally different people. It’s corny and obvious when they do decide to put away their expectations and start to become friendly with one another, but with their inspired-chemistry, it almost feels like anything but. The rest of the cast is good, but it’s these two who really keep this ball rolling, no matter how obvious side streets it decides to go down.
Consensus: Despite The Heat featuring an overly-familiar plot you can see coming from a mile away, Bullock and McCarthy’s chemistry and comedic-timing is working so well, you almost forget about all of the problems from direction, to editing it has.
7.5 / 10 = Rental!!