Movie Review - Bob Mondello On 'The Heat' Director Paul Feig and writer Katie Dippold have found a perfect pair of leads for their cop comedy. Critic Bob Mondello says Oscar winner Sandra Bullock and Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy turn out to have enviable comic chemistry.



Bullock And McCarthy, Packing 'Heat' (And Laughs) In Boston

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


As often happens during Hollywood's blockbuster season, this summer's movies are overwhelmingly dominated by men. But there's one exception, the comedy "The Heat," which opens today, centers on law enforcement officers played by Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.

Our critic Bob Mondello says he had a better time watching this buddy flick than he expected to.

BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: FBI agent Ashburn, played by Sandra Bullock, is great at catching crooks but so uptight about following rules that even when it's just a matter of counting to three, no one is willing to work with her.


MONDELLO: Boston Police Officer Mullins, played by Melissa McCarthy, is equally good at catching crooks but so temperamentally devoted to not following rules, that no one is willing to work with her, either.


MONDELLO: Got to get these two together, right? Here's how they meet.


MONDELLO: Things do get better from there - a little.


MONDELLO: Director Paul Feig, who shepherded McCarthy to an Oscar nomination in "Bridesmaids" - after a decade in which she'd been misused by other directors - really gets his star, not just her profane improv but her considerable grace with slapstick. And also, the kind of off-beat sight-gag that works for her; eating a red bell pepper while driving, for instance, which is unaccountably, hilarious.

The director has found some warmth in Bullock's ice-maiden act, too. And when he gets both their characters doing shots and improvising during a barroom scene, well, let's just say one drinking game they come up with...


MONDELLO: going to make Scotch tape a required bar accessory within a week or two.

Katie Dippold's screenplay traipses through what some will regard as over-familiar buddy-flick territory, but there's no denying that having women doing the traipsing gives the camaraderie a different resonance. It's not exactly "Thelma and Louise" without the cliff but in its own way, "The Heat" is as provocative as it is funny.

Will it have box-office heat? Oh yeah, "The Heat 2" already in the works.

I'm Bob Mondello.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.