Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Man on Film: The Heat

I actually saw this at an advance screening at least two months ago, so The Heat isn't exactly fresh in my mind. I had however formulated what I wanted to say in my head a while back. I wanted to love this movie because of its director, Paul Feig. If there's anyone who has earned the undying love of the world at large, it's the creator of Freaks and Geeks.

The Heat is far from being bad. Its last half is actually quite good. Unfortunately, the first half takes an insanely long time to get going and doesn't deliver the funny with nearly enough frequency. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy work very well together, and McCarthy (not even remotely surprisingly) puts the movie on her shoulders and carries it. For the past few years, this has been the case. McCarthy stole the show in Bridesmaids (the first time McCarthy and Feig worked together), and her scene in This Is 40 was the best scene in the film by far. She is a comic force to be reckoned with and once the clunky (and over-long) first act gets out of the film's way she is allowed to shine.

If a film is going to have a slow half, I suppose it's preferable to have the first half be the slow half, but it still makes for an uneven movie-going experience if the early goings of character development doesn't bring sufficient laughs along for the ride. Thankfully, it picks up and almost hits a stride with enough confidence to cleanse the first half from your palate, but it doesn't quite get there, leaving this in the realm of merely decent comedies. I suppose it's possible that this will be a film that grows on you with repeated viewings like Anchorman or The Big Lebowski, but I'd say that's unlikely.

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