Critics' review: The Heat gets mixed reaction

The Heat, a cop-buddy film with Sandra Bullock and Mellissa McCarthy in the lead, has garnered surprisingly polar reviews. Men and women critics seem to have decidedly divided opinion on the same facets of the film.

hollywood Updated: Jun 28, 2013 14:34 IST
The Heat,Sandra Bullock,Melissa McCarthy

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?

First Published: Jun 28, 2013 13:57 IST