The Heat (2013): Good Cop, Mad Cop

Posted: April 28, 2014 in Action, Comedy, Crime
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the-heat-2013-film-large-movie-poster-malaysiaHaving established a pristine record with the FBI, Agent Ashburn seeks an opportunity to move up in the Bureau. Uncomfortable with her failures to work well with others, even with her success rate, he tells Ashburn to head to Boston to take down drug cartel that has plagued the city under the organization of Mr. Larkin. Upon her arrival, she immediately begins to butt heads with Officer Mullins, whose brutish brand of policing is in complete contrast with her more ordered and proper style. They discover that they have some similar motives for solving the case but are forced to work together by Mullins’s captain. While their relationship continues to be combative throughout their investigation, they have to find a way to work past their differences to discover the identity of Mr. Larkin and take him down.

Starring: Sandra Bullock (Ashburn), Melissa McCarthy (Mullins), Demian Bichir (Hale), Marlon Wayans (Levy), Michael Rappaport (Jason Mullins), Jane Curtin (Mrs. Mullins), Spoken Reasons (Rojas), Dan Bakkedahl (Craig), Taran Killam (Adam), Michael MicDonald (Julian), Thomas F. Wilson (Captain Woods)

While the film boasts the talents of two actresses that have some strong performances behind them, this film just felt tired and lackluster. For McCarthy to be the crazy cop, she failed to really give the character much dimension. Bullock has played an FBI agent before, but her performance in Miss Congeniality was more thought out and dynamic than this significantly stiff performance. This just felt like nobody was really excited to do this film. Michael Rappaport and Spoken Reasons appeared to be the only actors who took it somewhat seriously.

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While Paul Feig had a lot of success with BridesmaidsThe Heat felt like a failed attempt to create a female cop comedy to the effect of some of the great male films like Lethal Weapon or Bad Boys. The story followed the conflict between two law enforcement officers from different departments trying to find a way to work together to catch a drug lord. Along the way, they attempted to interrogate several people but few of them seemed to have any real connection to the potential drug lord. While they were part of the chain, the officers learned nothing significant to help them crack the case. In the end, they discovered the drug lord by accident after getting past their conflict and agreeing to go in guns blazing.

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The laziness of this film is integrated across all dimensions. The graphics department seemed to use extremely basic techniques to represent explosions and gunshots. It looked like it could have been done on someone’s home computer. The comedy writing clearly put out its best jokes in the preview and seemed to stay in the realm of awkward, unfunny humor. Jokes like the one with the spanks felt so overdone and gave the same sort of impression that elongated SNL skits seem to have. The personalities of the two officers are not supposed to work well together, but it is a surprise that they magically seem to fix all of their problems by the end when there was little attempt to actually display any real mutual respect between the characters. Ashburn turns down a promotion with the FBI to work crime in Boston? It is a movie but still left a disappointing feeling in the end. And what was the deal with the fat cat?

While some may find the crude dialogue and awkward comedy entertaining, I felt that this film lacked depth, creativity, and truly laugh-out-loud laughs.

Dan’s Rating: 1.5/5

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