The Heat (2013) a (almost right on time!) review

The 2013 edition of the Big Summer Movie Extravaganza! is slowly, inevitably, winding down.  Audiences have been “treated” to all manner of big spectacle, though it felt like every other film being released every other week was either a) a superhero adaptation and/or b) a big sci-fi effect extravaganza.  To be sure, there were others genres in the mix, but given the spate of films released, many of whom wound up eliciting yawns from the movie going audience, one almost feels a sense of…relief…that the summer movie season is just about done.

I suppose its a sign of the times (and my relative lack of it) that to date I’ve seen exactly two (2) of the many movies offered thus far.

The first, Star Trek Into Darkness, was a film that I enjoyed reasonably enough while watching it and immediately afterwards.  In the days/weeks since, the film’s stature has decidedly shrunk in my mind.  No, I haven’t changed my mind and now feel the film was bad…but…well…let’s just say that Star Trek Into Darkness is one of those films of the moment, and the moment has passed.

The second and so far last of the 2013 summer movie films I’ve seen is The Heat, the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy action/comedy.  Truly, more comedy/comedy, as the action sequences aren’t really all that spectacular and are few and far between.

NOTE: This is not a knock against the film!

In fact, The Heat, while perhaps not a comedy “masterpiece”, is nonetheless exactly what it aims to be: A female version of the foul-mouthed “at-first-enemies-but-eventually-friends/allies” buddy cop films.

Sandra Bullock plays the “uptight” Ashburn while Melissa McCarthy plays the vulgar, streetwise Mullins.  They are drawn together in Mullins’ stomping grounds of Boston because of the emergence of a mysterious drug lord.

To get into the plot details is an exercise in describing pointless cliches.  Yes, the couple spar at first.  Yes, they have to deal with unsupportive higher ups.  Yes, they do things “their way” and, eventually, become a true crime-fighting team.  Finally, they take down the drug lord.  Duh.

The plot, let’s face it, is just an excuse to get at the meat of the movie, which lies in the way the two actresses play their respective roles and build a relationship.  This is where The Heat succeeds very well.  As a bonus, the film even manages to deliver a touching moment toward the very end concerning Ashburn’s old high school yearbook…before following that up with a brilliant joke involving a certain animal.  I love jokes that are set up early in a movie and followed up later on.  In this case, the set up and payoff are wonderful.

So if you’re in the mood for a good, old fashioned vulgar buddy cop “R” rated comedy (with no nudity!) that happens to feature two female leads, then The Heat is very much worth your time.