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Film reviews: The Heat| RED 2| The Conjuring

The Heat

The Heat

  • by SIOBHAN SYNNOT
 

This buddy comedy about mismatched cops honours summer movie obligations to the hilt, in the sense that it is noisy, chaotic, and stuffed with heavy weaponry and car chases.

The Heat (15)

* *

Only occasionally does director Paul Feig remind you that his last film, Bridesmaids, was pretty funny – and not when Sandra Bullock is performing a botched emergency tracheotomy onscreen.

Bullock and Melissa McCarthy play a couple of law enforcers reluctantly yoked together. Bullock is a fussy, by-the-book FBI agent with a personal life emptier than a hermit’s address book. McCarthy is a beat cop, played as a cross between Dirty Harry and Oscar from The Odd Couple, who changes clothes by turning her T-shirt inside out, keeps guns and grenades in her fridge,and interrogates suspects by playing Russian roulette with a gun pointed at the suspect’s genitals. The screenplay, by Parks and Recreation writer Katie Dippold, is gunning to be a female Lethal Weapon or 48 Hours. Unhappily, this includes slovenly plots about tracking down drug lords to warehouse hideouts, and jackhammer banter.

Not all of it is awful – a sequence where Bullock and McCarthy get drunk in an old codger’s bar has potential. But the real drain lies in attempts to show that anything the guycan do, women can do too: swear aggressively, wave guns, and endure punchlines that are not so much transgressive as regressive.

On general release from Wednesday

RED 2 (12A)

* * *

Bruce Willis and his team of pensionable assassins return – this time coming up against Catherine Zeta-Jones as a Russian agent, Anthony Hopkins as a villain, and South Korean action hero Byung-hun Lee as a contract killer so inventive he can despatch targets with origami. Despite a script peppered with bullet holes, the cast seem to be having pulpy fun, and if you can get past Red’s exuberant attitude to violent death, so might you.

On general release from Friday

The Conjuring (15)

* * *

A haunted house terror flick, with the refreshing aim of making you squeal over mostly unseen malevolent forces, rather than squirm at gore and viscera. In a story based on an allegedly real demonic possession, a husband and wife team of paranormal investigators (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) are called in to fumigate a home that appears to house some of the genre’s most blatant clichés, from dark basements and rearranged furnishings, to children with imaginary friends. It’s not just the furniture that creaks, but there are still some effective jolts.

On general release from Friday.

Like Someone In Love (12A)

* * *

Award-winning Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami offers a deliberately enigmatic puzzle about a student who pays her way through university by working as an escort. There’s some artful fiddling with plot expectations, but the film’s evident self-regard makes this a rather undergraduate provocation.

Filmhouse, tomorrow until Thursday.

Night Of Silence (PG)

* * *

Two great performances hold together Reis Celik’s slow-moving study of child brides, where a 14-year-old Turkish girl (Dilan Aksut) is forced to marry an old man (Ilyas Salman) in order to end a feud between two families. On their wedding night, she tries to distract him with storytelling.

Glasgow Film Theatre, Wednesday and Thursday. Filmhouse, Edinburgh, from 27 August.

Siobhan Synnot

 

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