Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The Heat

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:Constant strong and crude language, use of bad language as an expression of freedom
Nudity/Sex:Crude references, prostitutes
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, drunkenness (as an expression of freedom), scenes in bars, drug dealing and some drug use
Violence/Scariness:Law enforcement violence, chases, explosions, murder, torture, characters in peril, injured, and killed
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie, but a number of insults of a character with albinism
Movie Release Date:June 28, 2013
DVD Release Date:October 14, 2013

the-heat-bullock-mccarthy_510x317By my count, I have seen some sixty jillion buddy cop movies, and they follow a format as rigid as a sonnet.  One cop is by-the-book.  One is free-wheeling and impulsive.  There is a frustrated superior officer.  There is a scene in a nightclub.  There is a bad guy with access to some inside information.  One is catnip to the opposite sex; one is romantically challenged or solidly married. And our heroes, initially antagonistic, learn to respect, trust, and like each other.  Some buddy cop movies have more comedy, some have more action.  Some buddy cop movies are PG-13, some are R.  There are always many wisecracks.  Quite often, we get to meet the family of one or both.  Sometimes the leads are white, sometimes they’re black, sometimes it is one of each.  But all of them, all of them, all of them have one more thing in common.  They’re both guys.  Until now.

So thoroughly conforming to the conventions of the genre that the opening credits could have been lifted from a 70′s movie, “The Heat,” is not interested in breaking any new ground except for the considerable change of a gender switch.  For the first time in decades, there is an action comedy with two female leads.  It even passes the Bechdel rule.  That is a major breakthrough.  Everything else is, well, by the book.

Sandra Bullock, basically carrying over her “Miss Congeniality” role, is the by-the-book FBI agent named Ashburn.  According to her supervisor, she has inspired “countless complaints of arrogance, competitiveness, and showmanship.”  She is assigned to a new case and has to work with a tough, brash, impulsive, profane local cop named Mullins (Melissa McCarthy, basically carrying over her last three roles).  “If you’re not in trouble, you’re not doing your job,” she explains. She also has an exasperated boss (Thomas F. Wilson, Biff the bully in “Back to the Future”).

Pretty soon they are battling over jurisdiction and getting caught as they both try to go through the doorway at the same time.

YouTube Preview Image

Cue the wisecracks.  “What is this, ‘Training Day?’” asks Ashburn.  And there are some bonding moments, including a makeover in a nightclub ladies’ room, a joint appreciation of an impressive arsenal, and a drunken dance to “Groove is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite with Lady Miss Kier.  But it feels like putting women in the lead roles was such a stretch they did not want to take any other chances with the genre.

They visit Mullins’ family, who appear to be visiting from “The Fighter.”  (Nice to see Jane Curtin, Nathan Corddry, and NKotB-er Joey McIntyre, though.)  Her brother’s girlfriend has breasts so significant to the character they deserve their own credit.  Wait, they do.  The girlfriend, Gina, is played by Jessica Chaffin, and the credits helpfully note that Gina’s boobs are played by “Jessica Chaffin’s boobs.”  So, not quite the step forward for gender equality we might have hoped.  And the Yale-educated Ashburn’s acid critique of a bad guy’s poor grammar loses some of its punch when she immediately follows it with a sentence that begins, with “me and her.”  Not quite the step forward for literacy, then, either.

Bullock and McCarthy are both terrifically appealing and talented actresses and they have such evident pleasure in playing these roles that they are fun to watch.  Maybe next time, though, they could put some more effort into the script.

Parents should know that this movie has non-stop strong, profane, and crude language with sexual references (and strong language is an expression of being free), drinking and drunkenness (including drinking as an expression of being free and open-minded and drunkenness as humorous), law enforcement violence with shooting, stabbing and explosions, murder, characters injured and killed, dead bodies, and drug dealing.

Family discussion:  How are Mullins and Ashburn different from each other? How are they similar?  Who is right, Mullins or her family?

If you like this, try: “The Other Guys” and “48 Hours”

 

 

 



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jana

    My mom and I left the movie. It was filthy and the Humor was degrading to women. Not worth the time. Unnecessary because the lead actresses are talented without the filthiness. Disappointing.

    • Nell Minow

      Thanks, Jana. An R-rated movie from the director of “Bridesmaids” is guaranteed to be raunchy, as I warned readers in my review. I’m sorry you were disappointed.

Previous Posts

Smile of the Week: The Dancing Traffic Light
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB_0vRnkeOk[/youtube]

posted 8:00:15am Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

TrueSpark: Teaching Children and Teens About Character With Quality Films
I am honored to serve on the advisory committee for TrueSpark, which provides quality films and curricula for schools at no cost to use in teaching character. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/akEWIRfjnxk?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Parents and teachers who want to lear

posted 8:22:33pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Genevieve Bailey of "I Am Eleven"
There's a reason that so many heroes and heroines of classic literature are eleven years old. It is that last magical moment at the cusp of childhood and adolescence, which is what makes it so fascinating and delightful. Genevieve Bailey remembered the year she was 11 as one of the happiest of her l

posted 8:09:47pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »

The Best TV for Kids May Be Online
Children have more choices than ever on television, but some of the best viewing for kids is online. Common Sense Media has a great list of family-friendly YouTube stars. I'd add EvanTube to the list. Newsweek calls him The Most Popular Kid You've Never Heard Of, with 272 million views of his engagi

posted 3:59:29pm Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Fifty Years of Fiddler on the Roof
The Yiddish-language stories of Sholem Alechim, collected as Tevye the Dairyman and The Railroad Stories (Library of Yiddish Classics), inspired one of the most successful, influential, and widely performed Broadway musicals of all time, "Fiddler on the Roof," which opened fifty years ago this week.

posted 8:00:47am Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.