The Heat

This is kind of awesome.
"Good Cop, Mad Cop."

Hello friends, neighbors, and internet recluses! It's a new week, and that means more movies, straight from my basement, out to you on the www. Today I thought I'd talk about a movie that I'd heard was funny, but still didn't go to see, because it starred people I didn't like very much. That movie is The Heat, a buddy cop comedy (or not so buddy at the beginning I guess) starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock as a vulgar and violent beat cop named Mullins and a prim and proper FBI agent named Ashburn respectively (WOW THAT'S TOTALLY ORIGINAL RIGHT) who must team up for a variety of contrived reasons to fight drug guys and murder guys and other unsavory criminal types. For anyone who has lived for a time on the planet Earth, during an era where film exists, this plot probably sounds slightly less than original, and I'm not going to stand here in front of you and try to insist that THIS TIME things are different because they've CROSSED THE LINE. I'm not a voice over guy for movie commercials in the early 90s. Whenever you watch a movie like this (or like say 21 Jump Street) you are not watching because the originality of the premise is so fantastic. That can be true of a lot of movies though, certainly I wouldn't imagine that fans of romantic comedy watch the movies because they suspect that this time things will be different (though it would be funny if say the romantic conclusion was spoiled by an atomic apocalypse or something similar). The Heat managed to accomplish the best that basically any buddy cop comedy can hope, which is to be pretty consistently amusing and not painfully grating.

This couldn't end bad right?
That was of course not what I was expecting. I've never been a fan of Sandra Bullock, who I just... I don't know I feel like she plays a certain kind of character, and that character is always her in Demolition Man. If you've seen that movie, or if you've seen any Sandra Bullock movie, you probably know what I'm talking about there. I also don't find Melissa McCarthy especially entertaining most of the time (Identity Thief was a terrible movie, but also Jason Bateman is a douche so). I mean look we all love Gilmore Girls obviously (HAHAHA) but I just don't find annoying characters that funny. I am not that guy who's like "Oh isn't she just such A CARD!" Fuck no. Despite this, The Heat manages to use these two actresses in a way I can enjoy. Mainly Sandra Bullock plays a really sad pathetic character who gets yelled at by Melissa McCarthy and they both get blown up and hurt and stuff. Every time I watch a movie like this I always go in with really low expectations, and I'd imagine that helps me to enjoy whatever amusement is sent my way, but I would still say this is a solid entry in the "fun to watch to kill a few hours" category. It didn't exactly shake my world view, but I didn't wish that I was watching something else.

Hey don't show everyone my secret gun collection!
Before I go back to that though I wanted to talk about Sandra Bullock for a few minutes though, because I DO find her to be a really interesting case study, because she somehow manages to both win awards and suck at the same time. She has a number of movies that have received stellar critical review and grossed very well, but at the same time these are outnumbered by movies that were rated abysmally. In 2009 she received an award for best AND worst actress, which had literally never happened in the same year before. I mean it's a pretty cool trick to have people simultaneously thinking your great and awful. I think mostly that she's awful, but people seem really excited about Gravity or whatever, I think the movie looks pretty boring. I guess when your baseline for space interactions is like Star Trek, someone repairing the Hubble Telescope doesn't seem all that riveting. I guess I'm spoiled by science fiction and space opera. Whatever.

Anyway, supporting cast in The Heat include Tom "Biff Tannen" Wilson (you know from Back to the Future) as the seriously abused captain at Mullins local precinct, and Marlon Wayans as local FBI branch agent Levy. Also Kaitlin Olson (from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is also on hand to play a drug addict and to do her best really bad slavic accent (well it's pretty bad, I guess I've heard worse). Mostly the focus is kept on Mullins and Ashburn, and Sandra Bullock and McCarthy really work well together on screen, in an incredibly awkward kind of way. Mullins family is also pretty funny, in a stereotypical kind of way (they're from Boston, and they're all ridiculous) also there is a weird albino guy who everyone dislikes because he's kind of a giant asshole. So that happens too. Did this movie blow my mind? No not exactly, but it certainly gave me a lot more entertainment that I would have expected.

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