The Reviews Are In: Mediocrity Doesn't Get In The Way Of "The Heat's" Humor
The buddy flick doesn't boast much originality, but it's casting is definitely spot on as the girls do comedy.
The Heat –‘the buddy cop flick starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock – had its much discussed premiere this week and by now you probably know the premise by heart; two mismatched cops – a by-the-book FBI pro and an insanely independent (and possibly slightly insane) Boston cop team up to hunt some bad guys. It’s a classic setup with a comically mismatched pair, who learn to work together and file down each other’s rough edges by the end. It’s been done before, but what makes this one different is that, in case you haven’t heard, the team in this one is all female! This shouldn’t really be groundbreaking news, but it is and that’s what most critics are talking about. Speaking of critics, they certainly have a lot to say about this one.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy (no relation) seems to share the general sentiment – female-centric comedies are excellent and so are McCarthy and Bullock’s performances. However, director Paul Feig is relying a bit too much on the odd couple to rescue the film from the depths of mediocrity. The formulaic script, penned by Katie Dippold (Parks & Rec, MadTV) doesn’t help matters much.
Variety’s Peter Debruge on the other hand, is a bit more impressed with The Heat, praising the film’s dedication to frequent laughs, while also noting that, as far as cops movies go, this one isn’t the most accurate. Debruge notes that despite the hilarious efforts on part of Bullock and McCarthy’s characters to bug one of the bad guys’ phone, they never actually bother to listen in on the call. It’s function over form in this one, but according to Debruge, “The films sacrifice of action for consistent laughs should make The Heat a hit.”
Bilge Ebiri from Vulture follows along those same lines, noting that the flick is “kind of a mess, but a funny mess” and praising it as “profane, ludicrous and violent, but it never feels gratuitous.”
The general consensus is that the film’s main failing is its dedication to formula and lack of dedication to detail. On the other hand, if you’re a Bullock and/or McCarthy fan, everyone seems to agree that those two are on their most hilarious here. In any case, even just the fact that this is the only female-centric offering of the summer box office, should make The Heat worth a watch.
Director Paul Feig, on the other hand, isn't such a favorite with the critics.