The Heat (2013)

(On Cable TV, August 2014)  It’s almost liberating to realize, shortly into a film, that you’re not the target audience.  It’s a realization that frees you from the burden of trying to like the movie: Once you realize it’s aimed at someone else, you can become as dismissive as you can.  So it is that comedy The Heat is really aimed at another kind of audience.  While I’m left uncharmed by Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, I can remind myself that the movie is for someone else.  I can criticize the dumb humor, unlikable characters, simplistic plot points and lazy witless approach and who’s going to stop me?  The movie is made for someone else.  Overlong, repetitive and unnecessarily gruesome?  Not. For. Me.  I can find peace with The Heat as long as I remind myself that I shouldn’t be watching it.  This isn’t meant to be a solid procedural cop drama: it’s a high-concept (Bullock reprising Miss Congeniality!  McCarthy being as rude and foul as she can be!) executed just well enough by director Paul Feig to ensure that the target audience feels that it got what it wanted.  It turns out that I like McCarthy a lot less in lead roles than in supporting turns such as Bridesmaids, and the tonal problems with the script frankly pale besides its unpleasant atmosphere.  I suppose that I should feel satisfied that this is a female takeover of a typically masculine film genre.  I should probably be happy that a performer as unorthodox as McCarthy gets a big leading role.  But somehow, as The Heat plays out, I’m left out in the cold and unsatisfied by the results.  But, oh yes, this isn’t for me.

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