Buddy-cop adventures have been a Hollywood staple for decades. In the unapologetically crass crime comedy The Heat, the two law enforcers are women. One is an arrogant New York-based FBI agent (Bullock) who’s extremely unpopular with her colleagues.
And the other is an overweight, motor-mouthed Boston police officer (McCarthy) with a lack of regard for authority. By the simple expedient of being tasked with apprehending a drug lord, the odd couple must figure out how to work together to solve the case. The crime stoppers never rise to great heights of comedy dependant as they are on slapstick shenanigans and a mind-boggling slew of profanities.
Director Paul Feig adopts a ‘gross-out equals greater grosses’ approach to the women-centric yarn written by the sitcom veteran Katie Dippold. The dysfunctional duo becomes best buddies. They drink, dance and make whoopee before converging on the drug kingpin. Their colleagues on the police force merely serve as comic foil.
A skillful comedienne, Sandra Bullock is effervescent as ever. She is, however, eclipsed by Melissa McCarthy. The Dirty Harriet of sorts is especially funny and fearless when confronting the city’s lowlifes. For those in the mood for a diss-fest, The Heat is well worth buddying up with. Others might prefer a re-run of a vintage Hollywood screwball comedy.