Paul Feig is on a roll these days. From his time spent on the TV series ‘Freaks and Geeks’ and ‘Undeclared’, to his big box office smash ‘Bridesmaids‘, the director hasn’t missed a step with this new laugh-out-loud action-comedy, ‘The Heat’. The pairing of Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy packs enough laughs for two whole movies. With quick-witted and vulgar dialogue, and plenty of chemistry between two outlandish characters, I found myself laughing so much that I had tears in my eyes.
Sarah Ashburn (Bullock) is a hard-working and very successful FBI agent in New York, but is extremely lonely with no friends due to her uptight personality. When she gets sent to Boston to stop a violent drug lord, Ashburn hopes that this case will land her the promotion she has wanted for a long time. Little does she know that she’ll be forced to work with Shannon Mullins (McCarthy), a rough and rowdy street cop looking for the same drug lord.
The complete opposite of Ashburn, Mullins is messy, dirty, seems to hate everyone, and uses the f-word so much (yet so brilliantly) she’d make George Carlin blush. The two are paired up to solve this case while struggling to get along with one another.
This mixture of ‘The Odd Couple’ and ‘Bad Boys’ sure does work on a comedic level, even if the results are fairly predictable. Much like ‘Pineapple Express’, ‘The Heat’ mixes some violent action sequences with its comedy. We see bloody head shots, stabbings and giant explosions done on a decent budget. Some of the physical comedy, mainly with McCarthy, is hilarious and very silly. She’s a force to be reckoned with. Whether chasing a subject on foot or hopping a fence, McCarthy brings a Charlie Chaplin level of physical comedy to the film.
Both Bullock and McCarthy provide not only laughs, but a few layers of loneliness, depression and troubled pasts. We grow to feel for these characters and want to see more of them after the credits roll. Co-stars including Marlon Wayans, Demian Bechir, Jane Curtain, Michael Rapaport and Dan Bakkedahl turn in good performances. However, seeing Wayans play a straight-laced and serious FBI agent feels odd, as I kept expecting him to act goofy.
This is an even more vulgar film than ‘Bridesmaids’, but also might be a bit funnier and has better pacing. With stellar performances from Bullock and McCarthy, as well as one hilarious script, this is undoubtedly one of the funniest films of the year. If this team makes a sequel to ‘The Heat’, I’ll be first in line. This is the female version of ‘Bad Boys’, and I’m okay with that.