Rob’s Review: The Heat

The Heat on
Letter Grade:

The Good:

Bullock and McCarthy are both enjoyable.
The one-off jokes and physical comedy work best.

The Bad:

Characters don't mesh well.
Slows to a crawl when they try to advance the plot rather than tell jokes
Some cringe-inducing bad comedy
Their attempt to satirize the Boston accent is embarrassing.
Not enough Tom Wilson

Cast & Crew:

Writer: Katie Dippold
Director: Paul Feig
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Demián Bichir, Marlon Wayans, Michael Rapaport, Tom Wilson

Rated R for pervasive language, strong crude content and some violence

The Heat on

Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox

I went into The Heat with pretty low expectations, and they were exceeded, but not by enough for me to actually recommend the film. It has its really funny moments, but it also has quite a few really cringe-worthy moments. It’s at its best when it’s making quick jokes or doing physical comedy, but it grinds to a halt whenever they take time to actually advance the plot.

 is a hot-shot FBI agent who is not very well-liked by her peers. She has the technical skills to be a great agent, but lacks the interpersonal skills and common sense. Hoping to be promoted to replace her boss, she is sent off to Boston to investigate a new drug kingpin.  is a Boston PD detective with street knowledge, but no use whatsoever for correct police procedure. The two are teamed up when McCarthy brings in a suspect (via clobbering him in the head with a watermelon) who has ties to the drug kingpin.

The Heat on

Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox

There’s nothing terribly new about the movie, it’s basically a comedic Lethal Weapon 2 with vaginas. It even has an albino. The one-liners and physical comedy are good, but when they try to bring everything together it just feels disjointed. The characters don’t really mesh, and the editing seemed odd as well. In one scene Bullock and McCarthy are crossing the street and suddenly make a point of hurrying to avoid a car, but the editor never actually shows us a car for them to avoid.  plays the misogynistic albino DEA agent, and  is his partner/underling, and these characters are just embarrassing. They’re written badly, and their acting isn’t any better.  And speaking of embarrassing characters, things go from bad to worse when McCarthy’s family is introduced. They’re just over-the-top and cringe-inducing.  They’re a parody of Boston residents, and not even a good parody, there’s a bit mocking the Boston accent that was so bad it just left me shaking my head….

The Heat on

Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox

On the plus side, The Heat gave me a new appreciation for Tony Hale’s acting in Arrested Development.  He has a small part, but I’m so used to seeing him in the Buster Bluth character that it was also kind of jarring to see him playing someone more normal.  Bullock and McCarthy are fine, they’re just let down by the other things around them.  They’re both likable and pull off the comedy that they’re given well, The Heat just doesn’t have the fortitude to carry itself between the moments of comedy.

Ultimately I can’t recommend this movie. It’s holding onto a C- grade by the skin of its teeth.  The comedy that did work worked really well, but it was just barely enough to pull it up from the D level.

Rob Bernard (108 Posts)

Rob is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Techie of Cinedraft. He hated Million Dollar Baby. And is really excited about the Ender’s Game movie. More About Me