Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Heat

The Heat poster with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy

Bring the Heat, Bring the Noise

8.25 out of 10 | Matinee or DVD

Rated: R  Pervasive language, strong crude content and some violence
Release Date: June 28, 2013
Runtime: 1 hour 57 minutes

Director: Paul Feig
Writers: Katie Dippold
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Demián Bichir, Marlon Wayans, Michael Rapaport, Bill Burr, Nathan Corddry

SYNOPSIS: Uptight FBI special agent Sarah Ashburn is paired with testy Boston cop Shannon Mullins in order to take down a ruthless drug lord. The hitch: neither woman has ever had a partner -- or a friend for that matter.

REVIEW: Bridesmaids director Paul Feig crafted a film that allowed Melissa McCarthy to a Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. McCarthy and Feig with another Oscar alum, Sandra Bullock, for a buddy cop movie - with women. Katie Dippold, with writing creds for MADtv and Parks and Recreation, takes her first crack at the big screen with this action/adventure comedy.

Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side) is a special agent with the FBI. Clearing more cases than her colleagues, Ashburn is pursuing the position for senior supervisor special agent of the office. But before she can be considered, her boss assigns her to track down a drug kingpin name Larkin in the Boston area. Looking through all the street-level dealers, Ashburn finds that a street thug named Terrell Rojas (Spoken Reasons) has been apprehended by the local Boston Police Department, collars by a detective name Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy, Identity Thief). At odds from the start, Ashburn and Mullins try to gain intelligence by working their way up from Rojas to the bigger suppliers and distributors in an attempt to get at the mysterious Larkin. As they get deeper and deeper into the criminal organization's network, they have to overcome obstacles with each other, their respective law enforcement agencies, and a DEA operation already in progress on the organization. They either have to work together to get the collar or tear each other apart trying.

Bullock goes back into her fish-out-of-water, woman-in-the-wrong-profession, underdog FBI agent role that she was so effective at in Miss Congeniality. Disliked by her colleagues in spite of her impressive track record, Bullock's Ashburn is an outsider looking in. Melissa McCarthy is also an outsider, but she is feared rather than resented. Her Mullins' rough exterior is a result of growing up in an Irish Boston household filled with brothers, sarcasm, and general familial abuse. Unlike Ashburn's by the book practices, Mullins relies on her gut instinct to make the right choices. Both will be necessary to get the job done in this flick.

Unfortunately, Bullock's character is a little too similar to her Gracie Hart role, minus the meek, mousy exterior. The similarities are so apparent, I found myself a little bored at how familiar the character acted. Once McCarthy's Mullins appeared onscreen with Bullock's Ashburn, though, the chemistry and hilarious hi-jinks was evident and palpable. Together, they are comedy gold. McCarthy brings a wit, physicality and improv skill set that takes this flick to the next level. Some of the supporting cast adds to the fun, too. All of Mullin's Boston-born brothers, gathering around the family table for dinner, set a tone of discomfort and unwarranted Southie pride at the expense of both Sarah and Shannon. What is a narc, anyway?

I was a huge fan of the first Miss Congeniality, but here there is no pageant or support staff of law enforcement officers. Ashburn and Mullins are on their own. Bullock plays the same straight-as-an-arrow, play-by-the-rule-book special agent, but it's McCarthy's Mullims who steals the show with her vulgarity, sarcasm, and rude behavior. As much as I love Bullock, her reprisal of a too similar character to Gracie Hart seems a little dated and tired. But her chemistry with McCarthy turns up the heat on both the action and the laughs.

Fans of either of these too accomplished actresses will enjoy the slap-stick, vulgarity, and uproarious antics that these two get their characters into. The story is nothing new - criminal enterprises and the good guys (or girls) who try to bring them to justice - but the funny chemistry between this dynamic duo is brand new!

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