HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
You Were Never Really Here
Lovely But Deadly
Unsane
Smithereens
Last Warrior, The
Artemis 81
Rampage
Quiet Place, A
Braven
Changeover, The
Isle of Dogs
Funny Cow
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Mad to Be Normal
Beast of Burden
Dead Men Walk
Game Night
Under the Tree
L'Amant Double
Gonin
Coco
Producers, The
Molly's Game
Forest of the Lost Souls, The
Hatchet III
Birdman of Alcatraz
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Wonderstruck
If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck
Nun, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
   
 
  Heat A Game Of Cat And CatBuy this film here.
Year: 1995
Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Wes Studi, Ted Levine, Dennis Haysbert, William Fichtner, Natalie Portman, Tom Noonan, Hank Azaria, Danny Trejo, Jeremy Piven
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) has something in mind, one of his perfectly executed schemes to make himself and his comrades a great deal of money. However, he is not going to go about it legally, for he is a professional thief with a strong line in heists, and as he borrows an ambulance from this Los Angeles hospital for his own personal use, he feels his plan has come together as long as the gang he has assembled stick to it. Meanwhile, the sort of cop who makes it their mission to track down men like Neil is starting his day: Lieutenant Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino), who is on his third marriage and no matter that he has been very affectionate with his wife Justine (Diane Venora), the pressures of his job will soon assert themselves...

Heat, for many of his fans, is director Michael Mann's masterpiece, precisely the right way to deliver an intelligent and propulsive, not to mention epic, crime movie that did for thrillers what The Godfather did for Mob sagas. It was an apt comparison, for he brought together those two titans of the Italian-American acting scene in Pacino and De Niro, and in turn their followers were salivating at the prospect of watching them unite in one movie, only unlike in The Godfather Part II, they would actually share scenes. Fair enough, but when you watched it, their characters' battle of wits was revealed to be largely in separate scenes, and even when they were together in the middle and at the end they hardly even shared the same frame, never mind conversed with one another.

Don't worry about that, you might think, Mann was well aware what he was doing in keeping them apart, as it allowed each thespian to bring their experience to bear on their parts without being overshadowed or distracted by the other, and at around three hours long, you had plenty of opportunity to enjoy watching them make mincemeat of the greatest supporting cast nineties Hollywood could buy. Yet there was a flaw in that too when Pacino was reduced to falling back on his tics to spice up a role that had more quantity in terms of screen time than quality in terms of giving him very much variety to deliver. At least he was entertaining, De Niro had it worse, a terminally bland character whose defining trait was his time limit with regard to pissing off.

McCauley is a master criminal, fair enough, but that sort of thing could be just as well conveyed in, well, in a television movie which Heat was more or less a remake of (Mann's L.A. Takedown from a few years before) and there was little to suggest why we should be spending so much effort on people who were so poorly conceived. But the answer to that was obvious: with this director, you just knew the movie was going to look great (until he discovered digital photography in the following century), and so it was, with Los Angeles lovingly captured in sleek perfection in contrast to the unlovely behaviour the story concerned itself with. In fact, the imagery overpowered it all until you were left thinking you had seen something more accomplished than you really had.

Only one sequence fought back against the smothering slickness of the visuals, and that wasn't the coffee shop chat between the leads, which never went anywhere very much, it was the superb action setpiece as McCauley and his team try to pull off the bank heist that is collapsing around their ears, fantastically propulsive filmmaking that lifted the rest of the talk-heavy scenes around it. On the other hand, its observations on the difference between the criminal and the cop were facile, giving them much the same problems to underline they were two sides of the same coin, or Hanna and McCauley as the best in their business were at any rate. Worst aspect of that? The women here are entirely an issue the men could do without, they just hold them back, as if Mann's script was written after attending a hacky stand-up show whose message was "Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em, am I right, guys?!" This mellows in the last act, but the damage was done, and with the men crafted as cardboard types, it was the superficial gloss you took away from Heat. Music by Elliot Goldenthal.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1035 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Mann  (1943 - )

American writer/director whose flashy, dramatic style has made for considerable commerical success on the big and small screen. After writing for television during the late 70s, he made his debut with the thriller Thief. The Keep was a failed horror adaptation, but Mann's TV cop show Miami Vice was a massive international success, while 1986's Manhunter, based on Thomas Harris's Red Dragon, was one of the decade's best thrillers.

Last of the Mohicans was a rip-roaring period adventure, Heat a dynamic if overlong cops 'n' robbers story, and The Insider a gripping real-life conspiracy thriller. 2002's Ali, Mann's much-touted biography of the legendary boxer, was a bit of an anti-climax, but as ever, stylishly rendered. Mann's next film was the thriller Collateral, starring Tom Cruise as a ruthless contract killer, and his big screen updating of Miami Vice divided opinion, as did his vintage gangster recreation Public Enemies. His cyber-thriller Blackhat was a resounding flop.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Arif Kabban
  Robert Segedy
Darren Jones
  Asma Amal
  Chris Lawrence
Enoch Sneed
George White
   

 

Last Updated: