BY ERIN TORRANCE
When a film begins with a prohibition-prostitution mix-up and ends on a sentimental note and the kidnapping of Pumpkin, an orange tabby cat, you know that movie has gone somewhere—straight to my list of favourites.
If you’ve read any reviews or summaries of The Heat, you’ll know just what to expect from this film. There are no surprising twists or turns, just a simple plot line, some good jokes, a drunken dance number (27 times over), and a happy ending. I’m a fan of Sandra Bullock’s quirky roles, and while I thought her role as special agent Sarah Ashburn might just be a repeat of Miss Congeniality’s Gracie Hart (I’d have no complaints, if so), the film steered clear. Instead, the outstanding cop skills and less-than-socially acceptable mannerisms/fuck-ups of Gracie Hart were split between Bullock’s detective Ashburn and Melissa McCarthy’s Boston PD detective Shannon Mullins. And, of course, in true McCarthy-in-Bridesmaids style, Mullins is outrageous.
So, back to the basics, the plot behind the film begins with Ashburn discovering that her boss recently secured a promotion; in order for her to be considered as his replacement, her boss sends her to Boston to investigate a drug kingpin, Larkin, alongside Boston detective Mullins. The goal is to see if Ashburn can play well with others and still get the job done. Of course, Ashburn doesn’t take to Mullins, nor does Mullins take to Ashburn. The two just accept the fact that they just have to deal with the other in order to get the job done. They squabble, and they have their touching moments, but eventually, they make some headway in the case. When they finally get close to closing in on the elusive Larkin, they find out that, well, things just aren’t what they seem (cliché, I know, but let’s not give too much away).
The appearances of Tony Hale, Kaitlin Olson and Bill Burr—three fantastic actors from three of my favourite TV shows—were an added bonus.
And honestly, maybe it’s just me, but the moment that I understood the potential of Jesus sports paintings (thanks to Ashburn’s keen eye and awkwardness around Mullins’ family), I had to Google it. I recommend you do, too. While the results for “Jesus sports paintings” may be mixed and mostly nonsensical in that they don’t have anything to do with Jesus or sports, there are some golden finds sprinkled in the mix. The film may contain the best paintings in this area, but know that it’s entirely possible to own one of your own.
To reiterate, don’t expect this film to be a brainteaser or high-octane adventure; it’s just your run of the mill comedy film. It’s the cast and the characters that make it. Overall, this movie is hilarious and definitely worth the rental, especially for a girls night—pyjamas and wine optional, though recommended.