The Heat Brings the Heat While Deconstructing the Genre it Emulates

Mondo's The Heat Poster

Mondo’s The Heat Poster

TitleThe Heat
Genre(s)Comedy, Action, Crime
Director(s)Paul Feig
Release Year2013

Paul Feig has already etched a name for himself with the cult following that Freaks & Geeks garnered, but when he directed 2011’s Bridesmaids, he furthered his career even more. That film also helped bring Melissa McCarthy into the spotlight, who happened to steal every scene she was in. So it’s not surprising that Feig and McCarthy have teamed up again, this time with the help of Sandra Bullock, to make another excellent comedy in The Heat. With a stellar supporting cast of different comedic actors, no qualms about poking fun at the buddy-cop genre, and one of McCarthy’s best performances to date, The Heat makes up for its formulaic plot to truly deliver the heat.

In what is probably the most tried and true formulas in Hollywood, The Heat pairs the straitlaced FBI Agent, Detective Ashburn (Bullock) with no-nonsense Officer Mullins (McCarthy), a local Boston police officer. The two opposite ends of the spectrum are forced to work together in order to bring down a drug lord who is killing off the competing drug dealers. Nothing new to see here and while that is somewhat frustrating, the rehashing of cliches allows writer Katie Dippold an opportunity to poke fun at the genre’s tropes. This deconstruction of the buddy-cop genre’s overused elements is exactly why The Heat is able to transcend the charisma of its cast to provide a commentary on how ridiculous some of the things movie do over and over, really are.

Watching these two opposites work together is magic.

Watching these two opposites work together is magic.

And any wit that is brought to the table in The Heat is delivered perfectly by McCarthy, who shows what she can do when given a foul-mouthed, ruthless character to play. Every line just feels right coming from her, and the interaction between her and Bullock is great. That being said, Bullock is perfect for her character and when Mullins and Ashburn first start interacting with each other, the chemistry could not feel more awkward. When the two inevitably start bonding, it leads up to a whimsical night drinking together in a run-down Irish pub, which is stereotypical but it feels natural. No matter how generic their characters are, the two play them exceptionally well and elevate the film to something more than it could have been with any other actors on board.

The supporting cast around them is also something to behold. They are not a group of well-known actors but are nonetheless a ton of recognizable faces in comedy like Tony Hale, Michael McDonald, Dan Bakkedahl, and Taran Killam, among many others. Each person gets their time to shine, but Bakkedahl really goes out there as an albino DEA agent, and McDonald plays a character that I’m surprised he hasn’t been attached to more often. There are other noteworthy actors in here as well, and they all play against the two leads very naturally. And to round off the compliments to the film, the soundtrack is used to decent effect, utilizing the kind of mix of rap and pop music you would expect from this kind of movie.

And the inevitable drunk bonding scene is great, as always.

And the inevitable drunk bonding scene is great, as always.

There are a few tiny problems with The Heat, though, most notably when it comes to its action. While there are decent moments, such as the opening chase scene between McCarthy and a drug dealer, there are other moments when explosions happen that are quite obviously computer-generated. The problem is that it just looks like someone imposed an explosion on top of the scene, using the kind of CG you would expect out of a low-budget action movie. Perhaps it was intentionally cheesy, but the effect didn’t work on me, instead feeling jarring against the actual action happening. As I said many times now, the plot is a weak point too, being very generic and commonplace for a buddy-cop movie. It has all the beats you would expect from that type of film, but the pleasant surprise is that it is self-aware of its tropes, on occasion.

It might seem a bit too forgiving to overlook The Heat‘s inherent cliches, but Dippold gives plenty of reason to do so with her very self-aware writing style. Yes, the movie follows a very predictable narrative, but when the cast play off each other, the film transcends its generic plot points. It is another action comedy that falters on delivering quality action, but the comedy elements are there in full force, and by the end there’s even some heart to the film. So while Feig may not have made himself another Bridesmaids, he continues to prove himself as an excellent comedy director who is able to get the best out of his cast, specifically Melissa McCarthy.


24 responses to “The Heat Brings the Heat While Deconstructing the Genre it Emulates

  1. Simply wish to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clarity on your publish is simply excellent and that i can assume you are an expert on this
    subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to stay updated with imminent post.
    Thanks 1,000,000 and please keep up the gratifying work.

  2. Howdy! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you
    I truly enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest any
    other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects?
    Thank you!

  3. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However
    I am going through problems with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to join it.
    Is there anyone else having the same RSS issues?
    Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond?


  4. Hey! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a
    captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog
    platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  5. Hello I am so excited I found your blog, I really found you by
    accident, while I was searching on Google for something else, Anyhow I
    am here now and would just like to say kudos
    for a remarkable post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS
    feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do
    keep up the great work.

  6. Juices are delivered fresh daily and you get to choose when they come
    – I chose the 7-9am timeslot. Unprocessed honey is rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and amino
    acids. Carob powder is also made by grinding seed pods ‘
    this time, the pods from the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua).

  7. My brother recommended I might like this website. He was entirely right.
    This put up actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information!

    Thank you!

  8. I comment when I like a post on a site or if I have something
    to contribute to the conversation. It is a result of the sincerness
    communicated in the article I browsed. And on this article The
    Heat Brings the Heat While Deconstructing the Genre it Emulates | Independent Cinema.
    I was excited enough to drop a thought 🙂 I actually do have
    a few questions for you if you do not mind.
    Could it be simply me or does it look like like a few of the
    comments look as if they are written by brain dead folks?
    😛 And, if you are writing at other places, I’d like to follow anything fresh you have to post.
    Would you make a list the complete urls of all your communal pages like your
    linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  9. I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this sort of house .

    Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site.
    Studying this information So i’m glad to convey that I’ve an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I found out just
    what I needed. I so much indisputably will make sure to
    do not disregard this site and provides it a look regularly.

  10. I feel that is one of the so much important information for me.
    And i’m glad studying your article. But should remark on some general things,
    The web site style is great, the articles is really excellent : D.
    Just right process, cheers

  11. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
    It’s always exciting to read articles from other writers and use something from their websites.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s