Miss. Congeniality 3: The Heat
“The Heat” 2012
Dir: Paul Feig
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Marlon Wayans
Halfway through what I am now dubbing The X-Rated Miss Congeniality, Melissa McCarthy’s crass and overbearing Boston cop character declares, “I’m balls deep in boredom!” For whatever reason it was, this line stuck with me for the rest of the film. Maybe it was the graphic imagery, but maybe it was because I felt the line couldn’t possibly be used when discussing this film. Never during the near two hour film was I bored, and certainly never found myself balls deep in it.
As is the case with many modern day comedies, it seems a simple story cannot be told in the space of an hour and a half anymore. Films like “Funny People” and “This is 40” go way over the two hour running mark and it certainly feels like it. There is a certain point during these films where the audience realise the film should have ended already but they keep going… However “The Heat” manages to keep the audience’s attention throughout thanks to a constant stream of pratfalls, sight gags and hilarious one-liners. The fact the two main leads are female makes no difference nor does it distract from the comedy – if anything it adds to it and is a refreshing sight to see two women on top of their game.
“Never during the near two hour film was I bored, and certainly never found myself balls deep in it.”
But it’s not just the comedy that keeps this film going throughout the long runtime. At the centre of this film is an actual plot that keeps the viewer guessing throughout the entire movie. When straight-laced FBI Agent Ashburn (Bullock) finds herself unwillingly partnered with the unorthodox and street savvy Boston Police Officer Mullins (McCarthy) to hunt down a faceless drug lord, not only does the comedy ensue but a whole lot of action and intrigue. Without the comedy this could have been a brilliant action film with Halle Berry and Charlize Theron and still managed to maintain a level of interest thanks to the storyline.
After some hilarious antics and quick witted one-liners thanks to an albino DEA Agent, a major fall out between the two lead characters and a whole heap of cringing thanks to a horrific torture scene, the whole point of this film is revealed… It’s a BUDDY COP film! Like the ending to a sickly sweet romcom, Ashburn and Mullins discover that they are no longer fighting each other to solve a case, but they are fighting the impending friendship that is looming over their relationship – that culminates in an almost tear inducing scene towards the end of the film.
The only flaw with this film is pointed out by Sandra Bullock herself during the movie. “Is the profanity really necessary?” For yes, though this film is one of the best comedy flicks in recent years, McCarthy’s potty mouth somewhat ruins parts of the film – to the point I felt like screaming “THANK YOU SANDRA” when she delivered that line. Some will find the language and crudeness too much, but if you go into the cinema for a good time and just let yourself go then a good time you will have.
For the fact it made me laugh out loud in the cinema, and because the storyline was actually very well developed I give “The Heat” 9/10. A great buddy cop comedy, too much swearing, but if you ignore that it’s worth a watch.