Director Paul Feig charmed us a few year back when his hit Bridesmaids took over comedy not only because it was uproariously hilarious and well written but it was also led by female characters. While this shouldn’t be a big deal, it still is odd in Hollywood to see a female driven story garner lots of money in the ever challenging summer box office.
Feig follows up his first effort with The Heat, a buddy cop comedy led by Melissa McCarthy (who turned heads in Bridesmaids) and a staple female moneymaker in Sandra Bullock. What made this comedy so great was not only how well directed and well written it was but how the chemistry of its two leads made for such great comedic fun and showed that women have the power to entertain just as much as men.
The Heat follows Ashburn (Bullock) who is an FBI agent that struggles to mesh well with her colleagues due to her over-the-top, bragging personality. She is sent to investigate a drug lord in Boston and is soon teamed up with Mullins (McCarthy) who is known for her own over-the-top personality.
The film plays into the story structure that makes a buddy cop. The rogue and passive personalities team up and work through their quirks to catch the perpetrator and close the case. But while the genre has died out as of late with unmotivated writing and bland leads, The Heat works by giving us fantastic chemistry between our leads, some great pop-ups by funny supporting pieces, and a story that lets the comedic efforts of both McCarthy and Bullock shine.
Bullock plays the passive officer well and has her own shining moments but the star of the movie is clearly McCarthy. While she does come off as very abrasive at times, she delivers her lines well and can throw in hilarious one-liners one after the other. I was unsure going in if she could sustain her humor as a lead character throughout the movie and she proved me wrong.
The comedy is great and besides This is the End is the funniest movie I have seen this year. The typical buddy cop one-liners work well and McCarthy’s personality makes them fresh and not overdone. The supporting players add some flash with faces such as Marlon Wayans and Taran Killam showing up to add humor outside of the two protagonists.
This is something that has somewhat lacked in the other Hollywood comedies this year. While the lead characters have been hilarious, the supporting players have given cheap and boring dialogue and don’t use the comedians to their highest potential. Feig, much like in Bridesmaids, knows how to get the most out of his supporters and this trait continues to make his movies great.
The Heat is not only funny but hopefully a step for more female-driven comedy like it. Kate Dippold, who wrote the screenplay, expertly gave us a welcome return of the buddy cop film and hopefully there is more to come from all involved with this hilarious picture.