Hoping to nab a drug lord (and get a promotion) FBI agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) heads to Boston to take a bite of crime. As a student of evidence and motive, Ashburn is the best at working a crime scene—and she never lets anyone forget it. Police officer Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy), on the other hand, is so brash, foul-mouthed and uncouth that everyone in her precinct loathes her—and fears her.
Director Paul Feig reteams with his Bridesmaids star delivering the first-female driven take on the classic buddy-cop formula that ruled the '80s. The resulting explosions of one-liners, car chases, and undercover silliness forge McCarthy into a new breed of lethal weapon. By the second act, Bullock unleashes her own brand of mayhem, which in some ways is even more surprising.
Funny, fast-paced, and never dull, this new duo has brought the heat back to a genre that became too obsessed with just explosions in the bad-boys '90s. Bullock and McCarthy know that the real heart of any clever pairing is the affection we have for them.
So, how exactly does The Heat shake to an '80s beat?
1. Melissa McCarthy's F-Bomb Barrage: As Mullins, her dialogue is pretty much the sole reason for the film's R rating. She commands the screen like a young Eddie Murphy did in 48 Hours, especially when she proclaims that her boss is barely a man.
Speaking of which...
2. Even Biff is Afraid of Them: In Back To The Future, Thomas F. Wilson put the hurt on two McFlys, making sure they made like a tree and got out of there. As the kindly gym teacher on Feig's Freaks & Geeks, he was pretty likeable. Here, Feig gives him a small role as Mullins' timid police chief. Never thought we'd say this: Poor Biff.
3. The Return of the Embarrassing Buddy-Cop Undergarments: Screenwriter Katie Dippold (Parks and Recreation) was inspired by pairings like Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines in Running Scared. Are Bullock's Spanx a nod to Crystal's long johns? We say yes.
4. Who Knew the Ladies Busted These Moves? The soundtrack has great cuts from Boston, Dee-Lite (technically, that's from 1990, but we don't mind) and a show-stopping drunken slow dance to Air Supply's "Every Woman in the World."
5. Bullock's Getting Too Old For This Schtick? Hardly. As it was with Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) in the Lethal Weapon series, the movie keeps harping on Ashburn being old. (Read: over 40). But whether she's in an off-the-rack pantsuit or a bulletproof vest, the 48-year-old actress looks fab.