(Language warning: this post is not rated PG!)
Last night I went out with my friend Rebecca to see a movie. That's right, two things I almost never ever do rolled into one fantastic evening: go out with a friend and see a movie, as in, the kind in a theater. She had emailed me the day before with a link to this review and wanted to know if I was interested in going with her to see it. Hells yeah, I wanted to go with her to see it! Last movie I saw was a year ago, and it's been at least six months since I've been out after dark, at least for anything fun.
So we went to see The Heat, which is best described as a female buddy-cop movie featuring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy as an uptight by-the-book FBI agent and unconventional street cop, respectively, who end up teaming up to take down a Boston drug lord. You can read the review I linked above for a better and more detailed synopsis. In terms of plot, The Heat follows the formula of many a buddy-cop/odd-couple flick before it. Only it's way better.
First and foremost, it's really, really funny. In fact, it's fucking hilarious. (Yeah, I dropped the f-bomb. If that bothers you, you might want to brace yourself before seeing this movie.) I've read some criticism of The Heat that it's just like a guy movie with women substituted in the lead roles instead of men and McCarthy's prolific use of profanity is an insult to her talent, and so forth. Did they ever say that about Denzel Washington in Training Day (which is referenced in The Heat), by the way? No, they did not. There was a lot of swearing, but it had its place and didn't bother me. McCarthy actually delivers all her lines, profane and otherwise, brilliantly. She has a knack for extending a funny monologue into something funnier the longer it goes; her timing is perfect.
Even better than that was the physical comedy. McCarthy is so strong and comfortable in her own body, and moves so easily, that early on when you see her drag Tony Hale out of a car window and then climb over a chain link fence while chasing a drug dealer, it's totally believable. Sandra Bullock's character is so emotionally and physically uptight that she didn't have as much opportunity to exercise her physical comedy chops until the last half hour or so of the movie, but it was worth the wait. Rebecca and I were doubled over in our seats.
There were a lot of other things that made The Heat a good movie, too. The lead characters are smart, good at their jobs and passionate about their work. I think a lot of comedies rely too heavily on poking fun at incompetence (especially incompetent men), and there was none of that in The Heat. They had emotional depth. Also, there was only one car chase and it lasted, like, 2 minutes. In fact, all the fight and chase scenes were appropriately timed. One thing I find tiresome about action movies is that car chases and fight scenes go on waaaaay too long, I think to make up for really weak plot-lines; it's actually a pet peeve of mine, but I guess that's why I don't watch action movies.
I kind of want to see it again, maybe with Stuart. I wonder what he'll think?