Hollywood keeps treating Melissa McCarthy as if she’s the second coming of Gilda Radner, but McCarthy is only as good as the material she’s given. Sure, she knocked it out of the park in Bridesmaids, but in her following appearances (Identity Theft, The Hangover III) the Oscar nominee basically coasts on her brash persona.
The Heat reunites McCarthy with her Bridesmaids director Paul Feig and pairs her with Sandra Bullock, a gifted comedian in her own right. Because the actors have no real script to rely on, the outcome is, at best, mildly amusing.
Much like in Miss Congeniality, Bullock’s character, Sarah Ashburn, is an FBI agent with a chip on her shoulder. While pursuing a drug lord, she crosses paths with Shannon Mullins (McCarthy, channeling Dog the Bounty Hunter), a loud cop who’s similarly bad at playing well with others. Not shockingly, their initial hostility leads to camaraderie, particularly when they face chauvinistic colleagues and felons.
The case that forces Ashburn and Mullins together doesn’t make a lick of sense, and some sequences are clearly shoehorned into the story just because someone thought they might be funny: See McCarthy dance! See Bullock get drunk! Watch them both make asses of themselves!
It’s humour of the lowest common denominator, the kind Adam Sandler trades on. Both actors are better than this. /Jorge Ignacio Castillo