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'The Heat'is fast flowing, must-see fun, comedy

Jul. 05, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

If I ever get murdered, or need some other type of police investigation done, I definitely want Boston police detective Shannon Mullins on the case.

Melissa McCarthy ("Mike & Molly," "Bridesmaids," "Identity Thief") stars as Shannon Mullins in the new buddy/cop comedy, this one directed by actor/director Paul Feig ("Arrested Development," "The Office," "Nurse Jackie").

McCarthy brings the same weebles-like charm and comedy to the side of crime fighter that she brought to her last movie as a criminal. She is hilarious, here, and although I know that I should also credit the writer, I think that McCarthy would even make me crack up doing "Schindler's List" or "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?".

Sandra Bullock ("The Web," "Speed," "The Blind Side"), as F.B.I. Agent Sarah Ashburn, does a really great job with the role, but facing the facts, this is McCarthy's movie.

It's like watching a Martin & Lewis film -- you watch Dino say a few into words in each scene, and then he steps back and watches Jerry roll. McCarthy is the Mork to Bullock's Mindy. Sandra doesn't stand a chance here. Also, in her defense, this movie is too similar to her portrayal in "Miss Congeniality," a very good Bullock comedy where she also plays an F.B.I. suit.

I have to compare the chemistry between these to law enforcement officers to Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines in the 1986 cop/comedy "Running Scared." The back-and-forth between Bullock and McCarthy is pitch-perfect, and for this, I WILL credit writer Katie Dippold ("Parks & Recreation," "MADtv").

Everyone involved in this movie played solid roles, especially the veteran (mostly) class of second tier players, including Michael Rapaport ("Boston Public," "Prison Break," "Cop Land") as Jason Mullins, Thomas F. Wilson ("Back to the Future" movies, "Ghost Whisperer," "Ed") as Captain Woods, Marlon Wayons ("In Living Color," "White Chicks," "The Ladykillers") as F.B.I. Agent Levy, and Jane Curtain ("Saturday Night Live," "The Coneheads," "Third Rock from the Sun") as Mrs. Mullins.

Rookie actor Spoken Reasons, playing Drug Dealer Rojas, also did a great job at his first appearance on the screen (large OR small).

While this is a fairly typical tale of cops chasing robbers, there is enough variety so as to not bore those who watch way too much television and/or movies.

The Boston locale doesn't really play a part, with the exception of all the locals throwing around words that seem to be missing most of their "r's". It could be any big city, with any big city police force and will probably produce a sequel, to which I will look forward.

For those who dislike the concept, there is way too much vulgarity in this movie, but it is not filled with the stoner humor that I, personally, detest. My Marine Corps mind filters through the swear words, and actually sees it as part of the tough cop vernacular that is pervasive among that world.

I don't think that I give away too much of the plot, by saying that the cops try to bust up a plot and find the anonymous Head Bad Guy, while trying to understand the peculiarities of each other's personal space.

There are no slow spots or distractions found anywhere in this movie and it moves along seamlessly from beginning to end. It is nowhere near as blood soaked as the "Bad Boys" films of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, but still has the same verbal sparring that makes those films such a hit with the audience.

If you want to see a fun, adult comedy about cops and robbers, come, get out of the summer heat at Teays Valley Cinemas, and go see "The Heat"...

Billy Summers is a freelance photographer who also reviews films for the Putnam Herald. He can be reached at summers855@yahoo.com.

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