The Heat review (Blu-ray)

There has been a lot of talk this year about the Bechdel Test, which supposedly shows how much Hollywood hates women characters (nobody wants to see womeon on screen, right?). Well, The Heat certainly passes that test, with two leads who very rarely talk to each other about men (unless they are beathing them up or arresting them). And luckily, it also passes the essential "comedy test" – ie, it's funny.

The Heat, from the director of Bridesmaids, sees Bullock and McCarthy playing cops with very different approaches who are forced to work together when Bullock’s investigations leads her to McCarthy’s stomping ground. Bullock is New York-based FBI agent Sarah Ashburn who goes to Boston to chase down a drug kingpin and encounters police detective Shannon Mullins (McCarthy).

Ashburn is a by-the-book, no-nonsense, prim-and-proper (fudge is her swearword of choice) agent who's pretty much hated by her colleagues. Mullins is also not loved in her precinct, but for different reasons – she's loud, obnoxious, overbearing and dismissive of anyone in authroity. (She's also a tad overweight.) So when Ashburn and Mullins are forced to work together, well, The Clash of the Titans has got nothing on The Heat.

It's a buddy-cop movie in the best tradition – think Lethal Weapon with McCarthy as Riggs and Bullock as Murtaugh. The (slightly convoluted) plot is irrelevant; what matters is the comedy, much of it slapstick and most of it pretty funny. Bullock and McCarthy work well together, with noticeable onscreen chemistry. They make a great team, and what the Heat (which did good box office in the US) shows is that yes, people do want to see interesting women characters on the screen. These two really should do more films together – and they probably will, starting The Heat 2.

EXTRAS ★★★★ There are two versions of the film: Theatrical And Extended, which runs abotu three minutes longer and seems to be where the film gets its 18 certificate from for the home release (it's a bit gorier and swearier). The package of bonus material itself is comprehensive and extensive: a Welcome to the Bonus Features from director Feig (0:27) and a farewell called Over And Out (0:36); an audio commentary track with Feig, only available on the Extended version of the film; an audio commentary track with Feig, stars McCarthy, McDonald and Adam Ray, writer Dippold, and Jessie Henderson (whoever she is) which is only available on the Theatrical version; an audio commentary track with Feig and the Mullins family, only available on the Theatrical version; the featurette Mullins Family Fun (9:20), which has a bunch of scenes featuring the family that were cut from the film; the featurette Acting Master Class (8:28); the featurette Let's Get Physical (6:31), a look at physical comedy moments that were cut from the film; the featurette Police Brutality (6:43); moments involving Mullins brutalising suspects that were cut; a gag reel, called Von Bloopers (15:41); deleted scenes, called All The Stuff We Had To Take Out But Still Think Is Funny, consisting of deleted scenes, alternate scenes and extended scenes (30:08); the featurette Supporting Cast Cavalcade (7:44); the featurette How The Heat Was Made, only available on the theatrical version (19:44); and a commentary track with Mystery Science Theatre 3000, only vailable on the Theatrical version.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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