The Heat is a buddy comedy with a twist. The twist being that, in the past, these have always been two mismatched men partnering up to find a common enemy where here the two cops are Sandra Bullock’s uptight FBI agent and Melissa McCarthy’s slobby, bossy, all-action Boston detective. Bullock is after a promotion and is finding she’s at the glass ceiling – her no-nonsense approach which might garner respect in a man is deemed bitchy in a woman. She is sent to Boston on the trail of a sadistic killer and drug king-pin and encounters McCarthy early on. The two start off as enemies but slowly come to learnt that working together and embracing each other’s strengths can be of benefit to each other. All told, fairly routine stuff.
What lifts it above the crowd are the central performances. I’ve long held a soft-spot for Bullock and she’s on top form here with a great light comic touch, and the partnership with McCarthy, who is becoming a star in her own right, is perfectly judged. There are some great little comic sequences, like the interrogation while holding a perp over a fire escape in the trailer below. It’s perhaps a little long, but nowhere near as bloated as many Hollywood comedies are nowadays – trimming the bar-bonding sequence would probably be the only really necessary edit – and the plot is wafer thin, but it’s a highly enjoyable ride and hopefully signals an ongoing trend in female-led comedies, after director Feig’s previous success with the excellent Bridesmaids.
Film length: 1hr 57 mins – Feels like: 1hr 57 mins