Movie Review: “The Heat”

There are a lot of recycled parts in “The Heat.” Sandra Bullock is a rigid FBI agent, a character almost directly ripped from “Miss Congeniality.” Bullock is accompanied by an always unapologetic Melissa McCarthy, continuing her hysterics as eccentric outcasts like in “Identity Thief” and “Bridesmaids.”

Toss Bullock and McCarthy in the same room and you have ideal character foils for a silly summer blockbuster.

Though this film doesn’t have the creative insight of the defining Kristen Wiig flick, “The Heat” gives Bullock and (mostly) McCarthy a couple of hours to have some slapstick fun.

In fact, Bullock and McCarthy were given a lot of freedom with this script. It’s almost like the writers knew the screenplay was unremarkable, so they allowed Hollywood’s finest to make up dance moves and add some spice to mundane exchanges.

“There was no script for that bar scene,” said Bullock in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “It said, ‘They get drunk and dance.’”

Needless to say, “The Heat” would’ve sizzled out after five minutes if the performers stuck to the script. Though improv could’ve been the plan all along, the necessary substance for a truly memorable funny film is missing.

That’s very much because of the film’s cheap laughs. McCarthy spends the upwards of three minutes trying to get out of her police “car” in the parking lot by climbing through windows, while (Oscar-winning, mind you) Bullock forces a peanut shell out of her nostril at a bar filled with senior citizens.

Most critics dislike these poorly set up puns, but I can’t help but laugh. A DEA agent with uniquely albino skin pushes McCarthy’s character the wrong way by impeding her investigation. In an eyebrow-raising moment, McCarthy sarcastically asks the man, “Who is your wife? A five-pound sack of flour with a hole in it?” You have to enjoy the irreverence.

There’s nothing wrong with putting down the critical magnifying glass and enjoying a movie for what it is. Sure, the story ought to be tightened up and the comedy needs to be polished, but “The Heat” turns up the funny temperature just enough to give moviegoers a good time.