Buddy cop film has been done repeatedly from the usual lethal weapon and die hard, to inter cultural pairing a la Rush Hour, sci-fi alienesque Men in Black, even to the periodic Sherlock Holmes. This particular sub genre has been adapted to time, space, characters, and been done over and over again (just look at those franchises I mentioned earlier). So what made The Heat different? Well, both of its leads are female.
FBI special agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is uptight but efficient, methodical, and has an excellent reputation (of extreme snobbery) among her team. When a drug-ring case brought her to Boston and forced her to partner up with the PD finest, the street smart, vulgar, and instinctive Shanon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy). These two does have their own issues and seemed incompatible at best, can they see eye to eye and work together to take down the illusive drug lord? Opposites, like they say, should attract.
Sandra Bullock is a pretty versatile actress, she can do thriller, action, drama, and proven her capabilities through numerous nominations and awards (including an Oscar and Razzies). But, i know Sandra Bullock in comedies before anything else, I know she did great in romcom (Two Weeks Notice, The Proposal), though my favorite was her as an FBI agent who went undercover in a beauty pageant, Miss Congeniality. So knowing she went back to her comedy in The Heat was quite exhilarating for me. Her partner is none other than the current tour-de-force in comedy, Melissa McCarthy who did a great job in Bridesmaids as well as tv comedy (I remember her from the days of Samantha Who?).
The two leads definitely is the force of the film but supporting cast are pretty solid too, from Demian Bichir, Michael Rapaport, Dan Bakkedahl, SNL‘s Taran Killam to Joey McIntyre (NKOTB, *flails*). Just like in Braidsmaids, McCarthy real-life hubby Ben Falcone showed up in another brief cameo role. The writer, Katie Dippold (from Parks & Recreation) who is also a women manage to create awkward situation and physical gags that you found in other buddy cop action comedy film. But giving it a certain womanly twist to it. The dudes don’t have to worry, the comedy should be funny enough for both gender but will resonate more to the women. I mean, how many times did your favorite lead have problems with their spanx? Now that’s the part that made the character very relatable to female audience. The director is none other than Paul Feig, who previously directed the critically acclaimed Bridesmaids. Which is another great example of comedy about women, for women. Feig proven his abilities to mold a female comedy that has accessibility and relatable for female demographic. I think it is very refreshing to see women leads the movie of this kind of genre where it’s usually predominantly male and the female counterparts become objectified commodity.
Peter Mullins: What are you? What are you doing here? What are you doing?
Agent Sarah Ashburn: I’m a Federal Agent, I’m a Special Agent.
Beth: Are you a boy or a girl?
Gina: It’s a fair question.
Agent Sarah Ashburn: Uh, I’m female.
Michael Mullins: No Kiddin’
Agent Sarah Ashburn: I’m all woman.
Mark Mullins: From the get-go? No operation?
Agent Sarah Ashburn: Um, from birth, yes.
Beth: How do you get that close a shave on your face?
The whole film might’ve seen even formulaic, it may have been done before, repeatedly. But the two female leads bring their bad-ass comedy to the table and making it a fresh new take of an old subgenre. I’d love to watch this over and over again when they released the home media. And of course, if the rumored sequel is true, i’d be very excited to see these crazy duo returns!
THE HEAT (2013)
GENRE Action, Comedy
DIRECTOR Paul Feig | PRODUCER Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping | WRITER Katie Dippold | MUSIC Mike Andrews | CINEMATOGRAPHER Robert Yeoman | EDITOR Brent White, Jay Deuby | STUDIO Chernin Entertainment, Dune Entertainment | DISTRIBUTOR 20th Century Fox | COUNTRY United States | BUDGET $43 million | RUNNING TIME 117 minutes | RATING R for pervasive language, strong crude content, and some violence | RELEASE June 28, 2013
STARRING Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Dan Bakkedahl, Demián Bichir, Tom Wilson, Michael Rapaport, Marlon Wayans, Tony Hale, Taran Killam, Spoken Reasons, Nathan Corddry, Kaitlin Olson, Bill Burr, Jane Curtin, Michael McDonald, Joey McIntyre, Ben Falcone