REVIEW: The Heat

21 07 2013

I won’t deny that I laughed a hefty amount in “The Heat.”  It’s definitely a far cry from Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy’s respective greatest comedic hits, “Miss Congeniality” and “Bridesmaids.”  But it’s still a rollickingly funny romp, effectively harnessing the slightly awkward uptightness of Bullock and the bizarre outrageousness of McCarthy into a laugh machine.

It’s not the most efficient machine, however.  “The Heat” never takes a moment to slow down the pace of the humor, operating at full capacity for nearly two hours.  As a result, there are quite a few jokes that fall flat.  But over the course of a fairly bloated runtime, director Paul Feig and writer Kate Dippold more than make up for these missed opportunities.

The film’s Achilles heel is Dippold’s script, which just isn’t as good as the film’s humor.  It’s more of a through line than a story, connecting the dots between the jokes.  “The Heat” is predictable and formulaic, more or less writing Gracie Hart and wacky bridesmaid Megan into a standard police investigation film.

Sadly, two years after Paul Feig’s own “Bridesmaids” lit the world on fire and promised a more prominent future for female-headlined film, “The Heat” is the only studio film of summer 2013 to feature a female leading character.  And sadly, Dippold blows the chance to make the ultimate feminist statement with some cursory scenes addressing gender struggles in the typically masculine work of law enforcement.  The fact that two women were in a buddy cop flick and no one seemed to bat an eyelid is a pretty telling statement in and of itself.  B-2stars


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