Yesterday, Vanna and I were treated to another trip to the cinemas. This time we saw The Heat, an action comedy with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Not really a film I would choose to see, but it was free so I’m not going to complain about it. And, actually, it was quite good.
For those of you who haven’t seen or heard anything about The Heat (I could have been included in this; I had to Google the name just to double-check I had it right), it is an action comedy (I know, I’ve already said that) set in Boston. It follows two cops (I know neither of them are standard cops, but hey, I’m using it anyway); Sandra Bullock, an FBI special agent, and Boston Detective Melissa McCarthy, as they try to take down an unknown, dangerous, drug lord (as opposed to those well-known, friendly drug lords).
I’ll start with the positives.
The Cast (and The Comedy)
Not so much the supporting cast, really, or in fact, the main cast. Okay, not the cast at all then. The leading roles would probably be more appropriate, as McCarthy steals the show from pretty much the first minute we see her. I can’t say I’m overly familiar with her works (I think she is usually in films that aren’t aimed at me…much like this one, really) but she is hilarious in The Heat. I don’t think I’ve seen such a strong performance in a comedy before. Usually, there are several characters providing the laughs, but in The Heat, it was all McCarthy (well, for the most part it was). And it wasn’t the same joke over and over again either.
Mind you, it did help McCarthy to have so many characters around her who could be her comedic foil (look at me and my special words!). The standout was obviously Bullock. Not my favourite actress, but she played her role perfectly as the all too serious FBI agent who plays so straight she can’t realize that she’s causing problems for everybody around her. McCarthy, of course, is the one to bring her down to Earth. The connection between the two of them was great, and they played off each other very well. I must admit some of the jokes are still making me smile, which doesn’t always happen.
Now for the negatives…
However, that is pretty much all I can say for it. The plot is predictable, and more or less, none existent. There will be a brief mention of something happening, or someone involved, and suddenly our heroes are at a different location, or in a different scene, for reasons you’ll never be quite sure of (other than ‘there’s a bad guy there!’). It wasn’t a memorable story at all.
Neither, really, were the supporting cast. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t particularly special. Except for a few notable exceptions, none of them really created anything special by themselves. They were just there to help McCarthy strut her stuff. Not necessarily a bad thing, but when I’ve watched Gangster Squad recently, where every character made their mark, it was a bit disappointing. Just imagine The Hangover where there are three Dougs, and only one member of the Wolfpack (say, Alan). It wouldn’t be anywhere near as funny, would it? You need more than one person being funny, or at least, interesting.
But I suppose, I’m being a little harsh on The Heat. It isn’t a bad film, by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, it is essentially The Other Guys, only with gals (not a bad thing, of course), less jokes (that is, however), a weaker supporting cast, and a poorer plot…but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good/enjoyable. McCarthy is very funny in it, and pretty much does a Samuel L Jackson (he’s a verb) on The Heat; ie, she makes a poor film much better just by showing up and doing her thing. If you don’t pay too much attention to the plot, and what is going on, and just enjoy McCarthy at work, you won’t be too disappointed. Score? 6.5/10