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Blu-ray Review: ‘The Heat’

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HeatThe Heat was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. The comedy-action movie is the story of a stuck up FBI agent named Ashburn (Sandra Bullock, Gravity) forced to partner with a rough Boston police officer named Mullins (Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids) to take down a drug kingpin. In one another they find friendship while learning something about themselves.

The Heat is a typical buddy cop movie for much of the running time. This time, the cops are women, meant to be novel take on the genre. True, there have not been dozens of female buddy-cop movies, however, the plot is pretty standard fare, so novel, it’s not.

The main draw of The Heat is the casting of  Bullock and McCarthy. They don’t seem a natural pairing, so of course one expects it to be entertaining when the two are thrust together. They are both terrific actresses, and have created two mostly well-defined, layered characters, but the material drags them down.

They are surrounded by a great comedic supporting cast. Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie) plays a fellow agent with a crush on Ashburn. Dan Bakkedahl (Legit) is a creepy albino DEA officer, and his partner is played by Saturday Night Live‘s Taran Killam. MADtv‘s Michael McDonald is a villain, and Back to the Future‘s Tom Wilson is Mullins’ boss. The cast also includes Tony Hale (Arrested Development) and Kaitlin Olson (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). But none of these comedy stars manages to really contribute much of anything major to the movie.

We are introduced to Mullins’ family, constantly bickering and ripping on one another. Jane Curtin (3rd Rock from the Sun), Michael Rapaport (Prison Break), Nate Corddry (Harry’s Law), Joey McIntyre (Boston Public), Michael Tucci (Diagnosis Murder), Bill Burr (Breaking Bad), and the comedy duo Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo (Ronna & Beverly) make up the loud-mouthed clan, who frequently improvise. They could easily fill out their own spin-off movie, a la The Klumps, only they’d probably be quite a bit funnier, which, to be fair, isn’t saying much.

Now, with Mullins’ family and a semi-clever twist at the end, The Heat isn’t a complete waste of time. Plus, there are some really nice scenes between McCarthy and Bullock. Overall, though, the film left me feeling a bit empty.

Director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) also co-created Freaks and Geeks, and directed episodes of a ton of great TV shows, including The Office, Arrested Development, and Nurse Jackie. With his record and a great cast, you might think The Heat would be at least amusing.

There are a ton of special features on this release, including additional footage. There are deleted, extended, and alternate scenes. There are also a number of 10-minute segments of themed deleted scenes and bloopers with introductions by Feig. Which means if you do like the film and want more, you can spend hours pouring though the unused footage. Plus, we do get to hear about how the movie was made, and multiple audio commentaries, including one by the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys, are included.

There is not a strong argument for going Blu-ray over DVD on this one. I always love watching things in the best quality available, of course, but there aren’t really any dark scenes, special effects, or detailed audio bits that beg for high def. Your experience would probably not be much negatively impacted by going with standard definition. Of course, even if nothing really pops in the visual or auditory, clarity is always appreciated, and the Blu-ray is an extremely clear presentation.

The Heat is available now.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for and, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website,