Complete A-Z list

Heat, The


Stars: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Demian Bichor, Tom Wilson, Marlon Wayans, Jane Curtin, Michael Rapaport

Director: Paul Feig

Bulky McCarthy gets the chance to work her abrasive comedy personality into a real role in this mismatched cops comedy-thriller. And, once we get over an early reversal in logic, it's good fun, full of quickfire quips as rude as they're relevant to the action.

The only drawback is co-star Bullock's character. Seen at the start as a smart-Alec DI who makes her colleagues look like fools, she then has to play the uptight and slightly naive crimefighter in order to first clash and then meld with McCarthy's streetwise, inevitably foul-mouthed, bull-in-a-china-shop cop.

The plot has something to do with the pursuit of a drugs kingpin who is clearly one of the characters we've met earlier in the film, but it's merely a prop for the central double act, with Bullock and McCarthy at their very best getting drunk together, and the inevitable final showdown as the girls corner the bad guy in a hospital ward.

Without the bad language - part of the joke is that Bullock is destined to eventually swear feverishly after declining for the body of the film - this kind of of odd-couple, buddy-buddy caper could easily have been on our screens 40 years ago. McCarthy is clearly meant to be the star attraction, but the talented, indiarubber Bullock more than holds her own. Stand by for a sequel.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Technicolor/Colour by deluxe.
117 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 26 Jul 2013