July 3, 2013
All my fantasy projects — the projects I’d do if I had no limits and controlled the universe — are women buddy caper stories. My Avengers movie? Black Widow and Wasp on a buddy caper. My G.I. Joe? Lady Jaye and Cover Girl on a buddy caper mission. My dream is to one day see Zoe Bell and Cecily Fay in a Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser-style rogue fantasy buddy caper.
So of course I had to see The Heat. It’s not my kind of humor, I’m not particularly a fan of either Bullock or McCarthy. But I was determined to throw money at this if for no other reason than to maybe convince Hollywood that we need more of this kind of thing: standard action comedy buddy whatever, that just happen to star women.
Verdict: This was quite well written. You know how high praise that is coming from me. The standard drug bust/murder cop story was adequate and comprehensible (even if the twist end wasn’t that much of a twist). Both characters, Ashburn and Mullins, were well developed with believable backstories and clear-cut motivations that actually tied into the investigation story. And their motivations never once involved romance or marriage or babies or anything like that. You believe their transition from hating each other to becoming real friends. There was exactly enough romance to show that both women have had relationships and are open to relationships — on their terms. This aspect of the movie was wonderful.
It wasn’t perfect. It needed to be twenty minutes shorter, and I know exactly what to cut. That schtick in the Denny’s? So totally unnecessary. Not only was it not necessary, and really not funny, it happened at the end of the second act and brought the entire plot, and all the momentum the movie had going, to a screeching halt, and the story never really recovered from that. Extremely frustrating. And the drunk scene needed to be half as long. Seriously, how much “don’t our heroines look goofy when they’re drunk and dancing?” do we really need?
My favorite scene may be the one where the two are bonding over Mullins’ gun collection. And it actually pays off in the plot later on. I just wanted to stand up and say, “See Hollywood? You can have a movie full of women where none of them are dressed in skin-tight outfits and they don’t talk about men! More please?”