Critics' review: The Heat gets mixed reaction

  • The Heat

    Last seen in the Oscar-nominated film Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Sandra Bullock is back in action. And this time it's in the hilarious comedy ...

  • The Heat

    The Heat is about uptight FBI special agent Sarah Ashburn (Bullock), who is paired with a foul-mouthed Boston cop Shannon Mullins (McCarthy) in order to ...

  • The Heat

    Neither woman has ever had a partner - or a friend for that matter.

  • The Heat film

    And then, as Ashburn and Mullins join forces, they become the last thing anyone expected: buddies.

  • Sandra Bullock

    Sandra Bullock had also played a cop in the 2000 comedy Miss Congeniality.

  • The Heat

    The Heat has been directed by Paul Feig of Bridesmaids fame.

Well, well. The Heat seems to have started an unintended heated debate between two sets of critics - men and women. The rib-tickling Bridesmaids combination of Director Paul Feig and Mellissa McCarthy add Sandra Bullock to their bandwagon for this film.

The women critics appreciate the film for treating the cop-humour genre right while gingerly treading on the comic timing of new age unabashed women-centric comedies. "Seen through one lens, The Heat is the product of a cheering trend in female-centered comedies, a feminist sister under the skin to Bridesmaids. Seen through another, it revolves around the retrograde novelty of watching women swagger, spout vulgarities, brandish guns and toss around references to their vaginas (not to mention the odd areola and cervix)," writes Ann Hornaday in The Washington Post.

Betsy Sharky declares the McCarthy and Bullock team "an odd and oddly likable" one in The LA Times. Talking about the cop-buddy genre, she writes, The legacy is a long one: Beverly Hills Cop, Tango & Cash, Starsky & Hutch, 48 Hrs., Men in Black, Turner & Hooch, Miami Vice. Basically it's a man's world.

But as director Paul Feig, screenwriter Katie Dippold and the caustic, crackling chemistry of its stars prove, The Heat would be nothing, nothing without a woman."

The men agree to disagree. Roland Emmerich can't quite brush off McCarthy's character off his mind. "Grotesque doesn't begin to describe Ms. McCarthy's new character. Scarily insane comes closer; repulsive occasionally applies. Mullins's (her character) insanity can be extremely funny from time to time, but her anger grows as punishing for the audience as it does for the victims of her unrestrained police work, and Ms. Bullock is more to be pitied than censored in her thankless role of straight woman to a garrulous psychopath."

"McCarthy is more than willing to let her weight be the butt, as it were, of embarrassing jokes, as in a pretty funny scene in which she parks her old Rambler (perfect car casting) in too narrow a spot, can't open the door wide enough and struggles desperately to get out," writes one McCarthy about another.

Todd McCarthy declares The Heat "awfully simplistic" in the Hollywood Reporter. "The Heat is a collision of opposites that sets up obvious, sitcommy standoffs, shout-downs and physical pranks."

What seems most interesting though is that the men and women seem to detest and love the same facets of the film respectively. Gender bender?


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