DENNIS SCHWARTZ 
IS THERE ANY GOOD 
IN SAYING 
EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?

 
THE HEAT (director: Paul Feig; screenwriter: Katie Dippold; cinematographer: Robert Yeoman; editors: Brent White/Jay Deuby; music: Mike Andrews; cast: Sandra Bullock (Sarah Ashburn), Melissa McCarthy (Shannon Mullins), Demian Bichir (Hale), Marlon Wayans (Levy, Boston FBI agent), Michael Rapaport (Jason Mullins), Spoken Reasons (Rojas), Michael McDonald (Julian), Taran Killam (Adam), Dan Bakkedahl  (Craig), Tom Wilson (Captain Woods), Jane Curtin (Mrs. Mullins); Runtime: 117; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Petr Chernin/Jenno Topping; 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment; 2013)

 
"Has some funny moments."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Though a predictable formulaic distaff buddy mismatched opposites cop drama, it works only because the pairing of low-life, overweight, brassy, foul-mouthed, loose cannon Boston detective Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) with the unpopular, know-it-all, snobbish, straight-laced, ambitious, Yale graduate FBI agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) has some funny moments. Director Paul Feig ("Bridesmaids"/"Nurse Jackie"/"Unaccompanied Minors") and TV sitcom writer Katie Dippold get the most out of this tired story by letting their good chemistry co-stars carry the entire pic, and their comic antics triumph over the lackluster direction and shallow writing.

Agent Ashburn's bemused and harried FBI boss, Hale (Demian Bichir, Mexican actor), sends his incompatible with her inferior male colleagues NYC gung-ho agent to Boston to investigate a drug operation, and vaguely promises a possible promotion if she succeeds. In Boston, Agent Ashburn is to partner with street-wise bawdy Dirty Harry-like detective Shannon Mullins, who treats drug pushers like scumbags (conks over the head with a watermelon low-level black pusher Rojas-Spoken Reasons-before arresting him) and even arrested her brother Jason (Michael Rapaport) when he got involved with the drug business. After initially getting off on the wrong foot, the control-freak and by-the-book agent bonds with the rule breaking vigilante detective, who questions a perp by playing Russian roulette and aiming her weapon at his private parts. The pair must also endure insults from two misogynist DEA agents (Dan Bakkedahl and Taran Killam), who look upon the females as inferior cops who are ruining their long-time investigation on drug lord Julian (Michael McDonald) and his cohorts.

Edgy violence such as a mob-style execution, a sadistic knife torture scene and a time-filler unnecessary bloody tracheotomy scene, invade the comic efforts and give the pic at times a shaky presentation. But the pic is not so bad if you can forgive the weak story line, and all its cop film cliches. The Heat can best be viewed as a character-driven pic that delivers its crude comedy with summer-time glee and finds troublesome humor somehow in how both flawed characters are driven to be good law officers because of their loneliness and in overcoming their family shortcomings.

REVIEWED ON 6/28/2013       GRADE: B

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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