Established May 2010.

Gordie: Do you think I'm weird?
Chris: Definitely.
Gordie: No man, seriously. Am I weird?
Chris: Yeah, but so what? Everybody's weird.

Film Critic for Twin Cities Live

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Movie Review: THE HEAT

Director: Paul Feig
Starring: Sandra Bulluck, Melissa McCarthey, Demián Bichir, Marlon Wayans, Jane Curtin, Michael McDonald, Michael Rapaport

Sandra Bullock as an FBI agent. Sound familiar? No, this is not Miss Congeniality 3 although it might have been fun to have Melissa McCarthy join that franchise. Sarah Ashburn (Bullock) is your typical by the book, straight laced FBI agent. She knows all the proper hand gestures, codes, and procedures. Despite being pretty straight laced, she is one of the best in the field and has a keen sense to think like a criminal knowing where any possible guns or drugs may be stashed at any given time. She is assigned a drug cartel case in Boston and proceeds in her duties like any other case that has come before. Her work on the case could lead to a big promotion she is after.

Shannon Mullins (McCarthy) is about as opposite in her tactics as you can get from Ashburn. She is a local officer in the precinct Ashburn has been assigned. Mullins is loud, brash, no-nonsense, violent, and threatening in her approach to getting what she needs from her perpetrators. Mullins is determined to stay on the case despite the fact Ashburn is brought in to work it. At first, their styles do not mix well in any regard. The first interrogation goes horribly wrong when Ashburn wants to have a firm sit down approach and Mullins would rather threaten them and roughen them up a bit. The further along they work on the case, the better they learn from each other and appreciate what they bring to their job and society. Things get a bit complicated for the two of them as Mullins' brother (Rapaport) is connected to the drug lords they are going after.

The film works solely because of the two stars. There are other great actors here in supporting roles, but they do not have much to work with as the film is all about Bullock and McCarthy. Bullock is the Felix Ungar to McCarthy’s Oscar Madison if you are familiar with The Odd Couple. Their chemistry together is undeniable and director Paul Feig knows how to keep the comedic jabs and physical bits controlled so it does not fall into obnoxious and drawn out territory. McCarthy is perfect at the deadpan delivery of insult jabs headed toward Bullock’s character or any other character in the film. It is clearly evident how much fun they had working on the movie.

Bullock and McCarthy are two of the best comedic actresses out there. While a female buddy cop movie sounds like the perfect pitch idea for them, I just wish this script would have been better. Maybe I should say plot over script. The script is wickedly funny at times giving plenty of gags and material to showcase both Bullock and McCarthy. The plot is simple, boring, and predictable. You have seen these types of twists and snags before in comedic cop movies. I have seen them both of these actresses in better movies, but I have also seen them both in really bad movies. Here's hoping they do another movie together that gets to showcase their comedic sides, their abilities as actresses, but without it coming from such a contrived and obvious story.

RATING: *** (3 out of 5 stars)

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