Good old Sandy Balls, she can do no wrong in my eyes. I just love her, I’m yet to see a film of hers that I didn’t enjoy (although I couldn’t bring myself to watch the film where she’s stranded in space, because that’s the kind of thing that would freak me out a bit and make me panic). I think she’s one of the best comic actresses there is, and her facial expressions and flailing are second to none. I haven’t seen Bridesmaids, but I’ve heard enough hype about it to know that any film written by those responsible for Bridesmaids and starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy is bound to be a giggle, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The Heat is a film about two female police officers, Ashburne (Sandra Bullock), an uptight and professional FBI officer who’s universally disliked by her department, and Mullins (Melissa McCarthy), a gung ho and rather off the rails officer who has rather unconventional methods of catching criminals (like running them over). The pair have to work together to catch the leader of a drug smuggling gang, complicated by the fact that there’s a mole in the police force and Mullins’ brother appears to be involved. It really is very funny, and comes across as a sillier, girls’ version of Lethal Weapon (which is pretty high praise from me as Lethal Weapon is one of my all-time favourite films). I frequently found myself laughing out loud in the cinema, and I was by no means the only one.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Sandra Bullock film without a few sweet, heart-warming moments along the way which give her an opportunity to do ‘that face’, slightly earnest and a bit tearful, which always makes the films seem so rounded. If it was laughs all the way I think it would lose some of its effect, but it has a couple of serious(ish) moments and some very, very slightly emotional ones, although it mostly sticks with the laughs. There were also a few rather squeamish moments which I wasn’t expecting. The amount of fake blood squirting from the neck of a choking man was both hilarious and disgusting, and the sound of Ashburne being stabbed in the leg was a bit too graphic for my liking, although there was a distinct lack of blood from her wounds which I rather appreciated, although it was obviously rather hard to believe. (I don’t know what’s happened to me lately, I used to be able to watch documentaries about people having their faces peeled off to allow for surgery on their skulls, and now the slightest squirt of blood in a film and my stomach flips! I must be getting old).
As I’ve said, I’m a big fan of Sandra Bullock so I had high hopes for this film. While I did find it really funny, I don’t think it was one of her best and I do feel like she’s getting a bit typecast, but then she’s so good at playing that ‘type’ that I can understand why filmmakers want to take advantage of that. It was all rather silly, but I enjoyed it for its silliness. Sometimes there’s just no substitute for good old-fashioned humour. I think too many comedies try to take themselves too seriously and overcomplicate things because they don’t want to be written off as just another comedy, but sometimes there’s no harm in that. Okay so it wasn’t massively thought provoking, it was a bit predictable and there wasn’t really much to the plot, but if you just fancy a light-hearted watch where you don’t have to pay too much attention and can have a chuckle at someone’s underwear, then this ticks all the right boxes. It wasn’t particularly clever and there was absolutely nothing groundbreaking about it, but it was good fun and that was all I was really looking for.
See previous Film Review, featuring Monsters University.