Sandra Bullock and Melissa Mccarthy struggle to bring The Heat

by Mark Burger

The Heat is the kind of totally generic buddy/cop film where two law-enforcement officers — a by-the-book FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) and a brash, sassy Boston detective (Melissa McCarthy) — spend the entire time bickering and bantering… when all along it’s obvious that they’ll end up friends by the end.

It’s the kind of movie where, having gotten the drop on said FBI agent and detective repeatedly, the bad guys are accommodating enough to verbally threaten them long enough for one or the other to gain the upper hand.

It’s the kind of movie where the script (by Anne Dippold) is so thin that director Paul Feig repeatedly, and with increasingly diminishing results, falls back on McCarthy spouting obscenities at Bullock or whomever else is in the nearby vicinity. It’s funny initially, obnoxious quickly and finally, mean-spirited.

There are no surprises here, only a long slog through familiar trappings that defeats the efforts of all involved. Having previously collaborated with McCarthy in (2011), a surprise box-office smash for which McCarthy earned an Oscar nomination, director Paul Feig just phones it in here, displaying absolutely no aptitude for action sequences — of which, as befits the genre, there are quite a few.

That the studio (Twentieth Century Fox) has reportedly approved a sequel is a depressing thought, although not without its encouraging irony: What could be worse?

Bullock and McCarthy, who bring more energy to the proceedings than they warrant, retain their movie-star dignity, even if Bullock in recalls her role in the films. Could this be where the never-produced third installment of that franchise ended up? It’s hardly worth contemplating, in any event.

Marlon Wayans, Demian Bichir, Michael Rapaport, Tom Wilson, Taran Killam and Jane Curtin are wasted in one-note (or less) supporting roles, although Dan Bakkedahl manages a few funny moments as a federal agent who happens to be an albino (well, there goes that joke).

This isn’t just one of the worst movies of the summer, it’s one of the worst movies of the year — a tired retread of buddy/ cop cliches reminiscent of and only in that it’s a lethal waste of time (and talent), though its overstretched running time sometimes feels like 48 hours.

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