Heat (1995) written and directed by Michael Mann

May 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

Okay, so the promised historical, life altering interplay between Pacino and DeNiro ends up being very limited in scope as a cop and criminal, respectively, who know each other too well. Otherwise this film is flawless. It’s an intelligent, adult caper with some astounding action sequences, some of the most intense shoot outs this side of Saving Private Ryan and is epic for the sake of being epic, with every character being given more than ample screen time and backstory, with lots of dead end subplots meant to enrich the story and make the experience feel more real, more immersive. Val Kilmer’s character gets the meatiest subplot and subsequently also gives the best performance of the film as a skilled killer and heist man who has a complex family life, a bad gambling problem and a deep, conflicted self hatred. This is a highly polished, stylish procedural that doesn’t get bogged down in its own cool-factor the way future Mann films like Public Enemies and the Miami Vice film did. Heat is meaty but lean and to the point, with effective action sequences and a slick design, along with astounding cinematography. Nobody can make cities come alive the way Michael Mann can. This is a new classic of the Heist genre and its excess is excusable for the wonderful performances and rich characterizations.

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