HBO Movie Review: “The Heat”

Movies_TheHeatSo, this is your typical buddy cop movie, except it’s with two women who play the officers. One is ambitious, prim and slightly arrogant. As in her colleagues wouldn’t miss her if she got a promotion, especially if it was in another town! The other is aggressive, sarcastic, and funny as hell and has a slightly unorthodox approach to her work. However, she gets the job done. As in 5 minutes ago. Melissa’s character, Shannon Mullins, is from a loud, boisterous and tight knit Irish family who hail from Boston. Sandra Bullock’s character, Sarah Ashburn, is an uptight FBI investigator who is single and a bit on the lonely side.

This assignment is also being enforced by two DEA agents, Mark and Adam, who have been unsuccessful with any leads and are in danger of losing their investigation. Reluctantly, Sarah and Shannon partner up and try obtaining their own information. Shannon’s brother, Jason, had been involved in the Larkin scene and she actually had her own brother put in jail for his involvement. While Jason has no ill feelings towards his sister, her parents are not so happy to see their daughter come around, let alone bring an FBI agent with her to their house. A lot of loud, rowdy behaviour ensues and it’s pretty funny to behold. Sarah doesn’t have that sense of family and is a bit of a loner, so in some ways, she didn’t mind being exposed to that kind of family ruckus. They receive some information from Jason about a dead drug dealer in the back of a car. A vital clue is left behind from Sarah and Shannon: paint marks, which leads the ladies to an abandoned paint factory. They go to the paint factory and see Julian, a member of Larkin’s gang, murder another dealer. They can’t get any real ‘meaty’ details about where Larkin is actually located, so naturally, the two ladies end up drinking their sorrows away, all the while bonding. During this hilarity, Shannon often encounters a lot of ex-boyfriends, to Sarah’s amazement.

Heat_actionThe next morning, things don’t go so well: Sarah gave her keys to some man from the bar, and when he goes to start the car, it explodes. That bomb was obviously meant for her. Which means that they are now in the line of fire and Shannon’s family could potentially become the next targets. It also makes Sarah and Shannon suspicious. Julian escapes police custody and Shannon decides to put her family’s safety first. She moves them all into a motel, which that in itself is a comedic event. (Watch out for former New Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre as one of Shannon’s loud mouthed brothers!) Jason decides to help his sister with the investigation and goes back to the Larkin gang to get some insider information. Jason tips off Shannon and Sarah about a possible cargo ship being full of drugs – but that was a test to see if Jason was a snitch. The boat ends up being a party boat with no drugs on site and Jason gets shot. He ends up in a coma. Shannon frustrated with being led on and seeing her brother in a coma, vows to bring down Larkin, one way or another.

This duo decides to get medieval and arm themselves with a ton of guns and ammo. They are determined to take this punk down and they mean business. They go to the paint factory, only to find out that things are not what they seem. They manage to put up a good fight and take down a few thugs. But – they were led on the whole time: while they thought they had caught ‘Larkin,’ it turns out that one of the DEA agents was actually a rat. The women are subdued and tied to chairs. Sarah gets stabbed in the leg and just when it looks like they are about to get rescued, they are double crossed by Adam. Adam kills his partner and explains to the women that he is actually Larkin. The next person he is going to kill is Jason, who is at the hospital. Larkin orders Julian to kill the women. He doesn’t get the chance, as he is knocked out by Sarah. Both women race to the hospital, in order to thwart Larkin. While Larkin is searching for Jason’s room, Sarah is behind, as her stab wound is preventing her from keeping up. Shannon ends up walking into her brothers’ room – only to see Larkin there with his gun. With no choice, she surrenders her firearm. Just when things are about to go from bad to worse, Sarah manages to army crawl her way to the room and shoots Larkin – right where it counts, in the genitals. (OUCH!!!!)

With Larkin arrested and put away, Sarah and Shannon develop a mutual respect for each other. Sarah requests to stay at the FBI headquarters in Boston, Jason wakes from his coma, and to her delight, Shannon receives a police recommendation, while her proud family looks on. While Sarah is sitting in her apartment, she goes through her yearbook and sees a message written from Shannon – “Hey foster kid, now you have a sister.” This means a lot to Sarah, as she was not popular in high school (as evidenced in her blank yearbook).

Movies_HeattroubleShannon drops by to give Sarah her ‘lost’ cat. Except that the cat isn’t lost. The cat doesn’t even belong to Sarah, it belongs to the neighbours. Shannon saw the picture of the cat and wanted to help find it. All because Sarah had lied in the first place, saying she had a cat and that the cat was lost. Shannon was just trying to be a good friend. The cat is going back where it belongs, to its’ owners. Shannon and Sarah now have a solid relationship, have put the bad guy away and can close the book.

A few musings: the club scene is hilarious – especially when Shannon tears Sarah’s sleeves off and asks why she is wearing Spanks. The number of ex-flings that keep bumping into Shannon reveals to the audience that while she is an aggressive police officer, she has quite the spicy love life. I would recommend this movie if you are in the mood for a raunchy cop buddy, with female leads. Melissa McCarthy has that loud abrasive sense of humour, which is exactly what’s needed as a foil to Sandra Bullock’s stiff agent.

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