Lord love a duck! There I was stuck in downtown Fremantle with two hours to kill. (Waiting on The Teen.) I ducked into Hoyts to watch “whatever they had screening” and found myself regaled by THE HEAT.
Firstly, all kudos to comedy writer Katie Dippold for the snappy dialogue, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Sandra Bullock plays Sarah Ashburn, a Yale educated, successful but uptight FBI Special Agent. Melissa McCarthy plays Shannon Mullins, a downtown Boston detective from less lofty climbs. Our first screen meeting with Mullins is a rip-roaring hoot as she gives chase to one ‘Rojas’ aka Spoken Reasons (the Youtuber) utilising a watermelon.
Moving right along, McCarthy loathes Bullock on sight (for taking her parking spot) but circumstances force them to team up to fight a dastardly drug cartel. This is the start of an ‘odd couple’ type pairing which is dotted with cracking repartee. For example
“I’ve got to change…”
“What’s wrong with your pantsuit?”
“You slept in a tux? Go on and get your top hat.”
If the only reason you see this movie is to hear McCarthy put out an APB for her boss’s balls, then it’s time not wasted. This is followed by a delightful cameo by Thomas F Wilson as her deeply depressed Police Captain. The bar scene in which the detective duo bonds, in my view, has all the markings of a comedy classic and I giggled all the way through. In truth, I was only sorry I couldn’t climb up into the screen and join them.
Later, Bullock’s graphic summation of a room-full-of-male-chauvinism will have any woman identifying with the scenario and cheering her on.
I won’t say that the cops and robbers story in anything new, but the characters make this film memorable and director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) has done a really credible job. An honourable mention to Dan Bakkedahl as the resident albino DEA agent and Micheal McDonald for his portrayal of the nasty knife-wielding baddie.
There’s also enough backstory/subtext to the characters to make their motivations believable and the whole plot ties up very satisfactorily in the final act.
Some might dismiss this as a ‘chick movie’, but I think it’s cleverer than that. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and drove home cackling.
RATING ‘ Thelma and Louise’ after twelve beers