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Film / The Heat

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If you can't stand the Heat, stay out of the Kitchen (because that's where Mullins keeps her weapons)

The Heat is a 2013 action-comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. It is directed by Paul Feig.

Sarah Ashburn (Bullock), is an uptight, by-the-books FBI special agent. She is forced to team up with Shannon Mullins, a foul-mouthed and abrasive detective (McCarthy) in order to take down a drug lord.

Not to be confused with Heat.

This film contains examples of:

  • Big Bad: Larkin, the drug lord. The plot is centered around the investigation into his activities and his retaliations against them.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Mullins definitely has her admirers. There's even a scene where she has to let a guy down gently, and implies this happens to her quite often.
  • Binge Montage: The bar scene, in which the uptight Ashburn lets her hair down and the Odd Couple finally forge a connection.
  • Bloody Hilarious:
    • The incident with the choking man at Denny's.
    • Also when Mullins and Ashburn get taken hostage. Mullins pulls a knife out of Ashburn's leg, only to have to put it back in before the captor comes back.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Ashburn taking her neighbor's cat, to the point where she fools Mullins into thinking that is really her cat. During The Stinger, Mullins kidnaps the cat for Ashburn, only to realize that Ashburn was lying.
    • Ashburn mistaking a large, bearded, long-haired man for Mullins when she first goes to the bar for her keys. Later, after the Binge Montage, she wakes up next to him on the table, thinking he's Mullins.
    • At the beginning of the movie Ashburn is channel surfing and watches a few seconds of a program demonstrating how a tracheotomy is performed before walking away from the television. Later on, Ashburn sees a man choking in a diner and takes control of the situation by calmly performing the procedure ... unsuccessfully. She panics when she puts a straw in the man's neck and blood comes out, admitting to Mullins that she doesn't really know what she's doing. At this point Mullins pounds on the man's chest, causing the obstruction to come flying out. An emergency tracheotomy is a dangerous procedure that should only be attempted after all other steps have been taken to determine if it really is necessary. Ashburn took none of these steps, as one of the paramedics implies a few minutes later while criticizing her for being so reckless.
  • Butt-Monkey: Rojas the drug dealer. He gets chased, knocked down, terrified, dangled off a building and (accidentally) dropped onto his car while being questioned.
  • Car Cushion: Rojas lands on the front hood of his car after Ashburn and Mullins accidentally drop him from the fire escape. Rojas survives, the car doesn't.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The grenade that Mullins keeps in her fridge is later used during the climax against LeSoire.
    • Subverted with the RPG, which gets a whole conversation about where it came from and how ridiculous a thing it is to keep in a fridge, and makes it onto the film's poster, but never gets used once. Doubles as Covers Always Lie.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Mullins' groin Russian Roulette on a perp ends up being a subversion: she never had bullets in the gun...which Ashburn only learns after actually shooting Larkin in the crotch.
    • Subverted also by the emergency tracheotomy given by Ashburn, which ends up doing more harm than good.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • Courtesy of Mullins whenever she’s angrily ranting.
    • Ashburn lets one rip when she finally gets a hang on cursing. Though like most of what she does, it's very awkward.
  • Creator Cameo: Director Paul Feig appears as a doctor, and writer Katie Dippold is a nurse in the ER.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Mullins and Ashburn but Mullins is this especially, as most of what she says is a jab towards someone or something.
    • Also Tatiana and most of the drug traffickers.
    • And the albino guy, but with more snark and less deadpan.
  • Determinator: Both Ashburn and Mullins go far, even past physical pain, to catch their perps.
  • Dirty Harriet: A version. Mullins rips up Ashburn's suit into a more revealing outfit in a club to get her close to a dealer.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Larkin didn't like his partner because he was a "misogynistic asshole."
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Mullins is not afraid to use brute force to interrogate anyone, and threatens to shoot a perp in his dick to get a confession out of them. However, she has never actually gone through with it even once, and she's horrified when Ashburn is forced to shoot Larkin twice in the dick to save Mullins and her brother's lives.
    • Both Ashburn and Mullins can't stand the albino FBI and his derogatory comments towards them due to being women, but they are also saddened when he is coldly murdered by Larkin when they arrive to rescue them, and is also revealed to be innocent when suspected to be the mole.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: One of the things that annoys Ashburn's coworkers is her "showboating". The first sign that she's a Fish out of Water in Boston is when she tries to drive off while talking to another agent, and nearly collides with a traffic jam.
    Levy: [to himself] That was so close to being cool. So close.
  • Freudian Excuse: When we meet Mullins' family, we see, to a degree, why she is what she is, as her family (other than her dad and Jason), besides being a bunch of assholes, have made her the unperson because she arrested her brother. From what can be guessed they might be the reason as to why Jason's a criminal in the first place.
  • Friendless Background: Ashburn, ever since growing up in foster homes.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: How Ashburn swears until her Cluster F-Bomb.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Mullins threatens Julian with shooting his groin via Russian Roulette until he talks.
    • Later, Ashburn shoots Larkin twice in the dick. Mullins is horrified — she'd never done it with an actually loaded gun.
  • Hahvahd Yahd In My Cah: The extremely thick Boston accents possessed by Mullins' family results in a humorous scene where one of her brothers asks Ashburn if she's a Narcnote  — pronounced more-or-less like "knock" — and she has no idea what he's saying. It's enforced with subtitles, where it says they are saying "knock."
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Mullins and that goes without saying, given that, to any perp, she's The Dreaded, has stockpile of weapons in her apartment, and is pretty nasty..
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: Mullins and Ashburn pull this on Rojas by dangling by his legs over a balcony... only to drop him onto his car accidentally.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Invoked when Mullins tells Ashburn to "use your boobs!" when trying to seduce a mobster. Ashburn shoves the man's face into her cleavage. It works!
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Subverted. Ashburn watches a video early in the movie describing how to perform an emergency tracheotomy. When a guy at a local Denny's starts choking, she tries to apply what she's learned and nearly kills the guy. Turns out all he needed was a good hard whack to get the piece of pancake out. The EMT that takes the guy to the hospital chews her out for this.
  • I Lied: After Ashburn takes one out of Mullins' book and shoots a drug lord in the crotch, Mullins reveals that she never had any bullets in the gun during her groin Russian Roulette on a perp earlier. (The J-frame S&W .38 is a five-shot revolver. If you count the trigger pulls during the earlier "shoot him in the dick" interrogation scene, there are five. The last one Julian didn't notice because he was hysterical with fear, but it proves that there were actally no live rounds in the weapon.)
  • Instant Drama, Just Add Tracheotomy: "Idiots trying this when they don't know what they're doing" is used for a fantastic subversion of Chekhov's Skill. Just as Ashburn is getting chewed out by her partner for always thinking she knows better than everyone else, a guy next to them in the diner starts choking. Ashburn, who had half-watched a medical programme about tracheotomies earlier in the film, springs into action... succeeding only in nicking an artery and spraying the diner with blood by the time the ambulance arrives.
  • Insufferable Genius: Ashburn acts like this and tends to showboat.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • Mullins makes good on her plan to throw a phone book in Julian's face during interrogation.
    • Mullins using a watermelon to subdue Rojas. He considers this a hate crime.
    Rojas: Oh, hell naw! I told you were a racist!
    Mullins: I tried to hit you with my car. What does that make me?
  • Irony: Mullins' family ostracizes her because she arrested her brother Jason. The only one not upset with her is Jason himself, who, if anything, seems grateful.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mullins is, for lack of a better term, a psychotic bitch, but she genuinely cares about the people in her city, her family, and Ashburn.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: Mullins is fond of waving her revolver in people's faces for the slightest annoyance, like telling her not to use her phone in a hospital.
  • Kavorka Man: Gender-flipped. Mullins may not be conventionally attractive, but she certainly has her fair share of unshakeable admirers.
  • The Lad-ette: Shannon Mullins, a tough-as-nails female cop who's far more intimidating than her male coworkers and about as un-feminine as you can get, yet she has a very active sex life.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Ashburn's "tongue in cheek" quip when talking about a corpse who had his tongue cut out and shoved in his ass. Mullins and the coroner react with an incredibly awkward silence.
  • Made of Iron: Rojas somehow survives a three story drop onto the hood of his car with no injuries whatsoever. The car was less lucky.
  • Malaproper: Ashburn during her Cluster F-Bomb, Sandra's clearly channeling her past character of Lenina Huxley, except up to eleven.
  • Married to the Job: Ashburn. She confides that it cost her her actual marriage prior to the film's events.
  • Mirror Character: Mullins and Ashburn are both law enforcement officers that are extremely good at their jobs, but are despised by their peers due to their grating personalities. They also both have family issues.
  • The Mole: Adam, the DEA agent, was Larkin all along.
  • No Social Skills: Ashburn, however, this in part due to being raised in foster homes and not having any friends as a kid.
  • Not So Stoic: Julian faces Ashburn in the interrogation room without breaking a sweat. Then Mullins plays Russian Roulette with his balls, and he cracks by the second blank shot.
  • Running Gag: Several.
    • The Jesus-themed Boston sports teams paintings that Mullins' family has.
    • The leftover cheese sandwich Mullins has in her fridge she keeps offering Ashburn.
  • Shout-Out:
    Oh no, Scoob, Velma and Daphne got captured!
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Mullins curses in almost every sentence she speaks.
  • Southies: Mullins' family.
  • Standard Cop Backstory: Mullins is looking out for her criminal brother, Ashburn is a foster child.
  • Throw the Book at Them: Mullins hauls a telephone book at Julian in the interrogation room.
  • Title Drop: Mullins says she and Ashburn are "the heat". It's a sign of Ashburn's development when she later echoes it.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Ashburn, though she was pretty damn good already in regards to finding drugs, etc., so it's a case of her stepping up her game.
  • Ultimate Job Security: No one, including the captain, particularly cares for Mullins, but they're all so afraid of her that they just let her demean and talk to everyone however she pleases without any repercussions. As noted by Ashburn later, she's probably one of the most dedicated cops in existence.
  • Unperson: Mullins' family pretends she doesn't exist after she arrested her brother Jason, to the point that the family photo in their house is folded down to obscure her face. The only ones who don't seem to feel like this is her dad and said brother, though she and the rest of the family reconcile at the end of the movie.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: Ashburn's car explodes when the old man from the bar tries to get into it.
  • Younger Than They Look: Being Da Chief to Mullins has aged Captain Woods by at least ten years. He says he is 43 and that he looks so old that his son calls him “Grandpa.”