Matt Adcock’s film review: The word in the street is that The Heat is pretty neat

Watch out boys, there’s a new cop buddy team on the block – they’re armed, sassy and they’re all female…

Monday, 5th August 2013, 6:18 am
Odd couple: Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat

Meet FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock), a super cop who has closed more cases than any of her colleagues. Single minded and determined, Ashburn plays it straight but finds it hard to get along with her team as they all resent her for being so darned good.

Everything changes when she has to team up with foul-mouthed street detective Shannon Mullins (Melissa ‘Bridesmaids’ McCarthy) when tasked with identifying and taking down a mysterious drug lord.

The Heat certainly lives up to its name, resurrecting the classic cop partnership formula and blowing the doors off with a hot blast of funnies.

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When they work they are absolutely hilarious, and even when they miss the film still rolls along on the strength on the two lead characters and satisfies on all counts.

Bullock has a lot of fun straight facing it with lines like: “That’s how we do it on the streets. Word!” to which McCarthy replies: “Don’t do slang. It’s like watching a nun make out. It’s uncomfortable.”

There is a joyful interplay between this odd couple and director Paul ‘also Bridesmaids’ Feig lets them riff off each other to great comic effect.

There are some obligatory gross out moments, too, including an eye-watering emergency tracheotomy conducted by Agent Ashburn – with her copying what she saw on a TV programme the night before.

The female focus is used well and is not scared of poking fun at the ‘gentler’ sex, such as when the pair dangle a crim over a balcony Luther-style but haven’t the muscles to hold him, and end up dropping him.

There is a core of ‘girl power’ which should make this a movie that will go down well with action/comedy lover of both genders.

In a summer packed with so many macho blockbusters it is refreshing to have The Heat offering a counter balance.

The plot certainly won’t win any awards but all it has to do is serve up opportunities for McCarthy to go OTT with her vulgar, maverick idea of police work – which is just what she does.

I laughed loud and long and suspect you will as well if you take this case – even if the British summer goes off the boil, The Heat is on the beat at a cinema near you.