Today’s movie-going audience is overly familiar with the conventions of the buddy cop genre. The relationship dynamic between the two polar-opposite characters usually causes friction early on, but then tends to morph into friendship as the two find ways to work as a team. However, when the chemistry between the two starring actors is there, it often leads to hilarious results, as was the case with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum earlier this year in 21 Jump Street.
Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) may not be changing the winning formula of character dynamics in his latest buddy cop film, The Heat, but the change he is making is quite noticeable, and that is the gender of his leads. As we see in the newest trailer of the film, Feig is giving the male-dominated genre a makeover by casting Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy as FBI agents in his action-comedy.
Even with women in roles typically held by men, the trailer outlines a premise that is similar to many films we’ve seen before. Bullock plays Sarah Ashburn, the methodical, uptight, slightly insecure, straight-shooting detective against McCarthy’s wild, foul-mouthed, loose-cannon with street smarts character, Shannon Mullins. Of course, the pair doesn’t exactly get along after first meeting each other, but are forced to become partners and learn to work together.
However, as we know, the formula can and does work when executed well and admittedly, there are some humorous, even laugh-out-loud moments in the trailer, including a scene where Mullins discovers Ashburn wears spanx in the women’s restroom and a scene where the two accidentally drop a suspect from a balcony while attempting to interrogate him.
McCarthy and Bullock, who have both made solid comedic turns before, (McCarthy in Bridesmaids earned her an Academy Award nomination, which is rare for a comedic performance) add to the film’s promise, but perhaps even more promising for the film’s potential success is Feig behind the camera. After all, he’s pulled off this type of gender role-reversal before with Bridesmaids, a film featuring a female ensemble that was certainly as raunchy and as funny as many of the films led by male casts in recent years (The Hangover being the most obvious comparison).
We’re bound to see more clips and trailers before The Heat hits theatres, but so far, fans of the buddy cop genre, and of McCarthy and Bullock, will probably like what they see.
The Heat is currently scheduled for an April 5th, 2013 release.