The Heat: Cop and a Half

by Ethan Alter June 28, 2013 6:00 am
<i>The Heat</i>: Cop and a Half

Once a reliable formula in the '80s and '90s, the buddy cop comedy has fallen on hard times of late, with occasional bright spots like 21 Jump Street mostly surrounded by such dreck as Cop Out. Although entirely disparate in quality, both those films are alike in the way they continue the genre's relentless focus on dudes, with women sidelined or wholly absent from the frame. So what makes Paul Feig's The Heat innovative in its own modest way isn't the plot or the big and brash comic sensibility, both of which are standard buddy cop fare. Instead, it's the way the film lets the ladies -- specifically Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy -- have all the fun, while the guys are relegated to the back of the squad car.

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