‘Heat’ has the laughs, but …

Melissa McCarthy is comedy gold, and Sandra Bullock plays the ultimate straight man in "The Heat."

Melissa McCarthy is comedy gold, and Sandra Bullock plays the ultimate straight man in “The Heat.”

… The movie isn’t that good.

Yes, I fully admit that laughed my way through most of The Heat. Melissa McCarthy’s turn as the unhinged and unsanitary Detective Mullins was a hoot. Her energy and that maniacal glint in her eye stole the show, as did her chemistry with Sandra Bullock as the straight shooting FBI Agent Ashburn. From questioning suspects to a night out drinking to confronting the bad guys, this duo was lights-out funny.

But is funny enough when the movie itself is pretty lame? The set-up is nothing special, the plot is serviceable, but everything other than the comedy is pretty much the standard buddy-cop formula. Good for Demian Bichir (who is awesome on the FX Mexico-U.S. border drama, The Bridge) for getting some screen time in a popular movie, but he’s really wasted here as the concerned supervisor of Bullock’s Ashburn. Marlon Wayans is fine, but again given little to do as the token love interest of Ashburn. Most of the characters around Bullock and McCartney come off as little more than extra set dressing.

Even the direction shows a less deft touch than expected from a veteran like Paul Feig. A scene where Wayan’s character runs a late-in-arriving file to Bullock’s character as she gets ready to head off on her investigation is clumsy, a poor transition that feels like it may have been tacked on later. Why is a mystery. The scene offers nothing new, more of Ashburn’s blunt and awkward behavior, more of Wayan’s character trying to catch her eye. In a movie that runs close to two hours, those two minutes could have been excised with a minimum of pain and helped streamline the final product.

None of this is to discourage anyone from watching The Heat. The humor is undeniable. I’m just disappointed that there is so little else from it worth mentioning.

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One thought on “‘Heat’ has the laughs, but …

  1. CMrok93 says:

    I laughed more than I expected to. Which is mostly due to the fact that Bullock and McCarthy are quite a funny pair. Good review Adam.

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