Heat

"Excellent"

Heat Review


I hate to condone the making of 3-hour long movies, but Heat is one in which you're not going to fall asleep. Comparisons to Casino are going to be inevitable, with both hitting the 180-minute mark and starring Robert De Niro as a crook, but unlike that film, Heat manages to keep the interest level high throughout the whole picture.

Heat is the instantly gripping tale of a large-scale heist leader and die-hard loner named Neil McCauley (De Niro). As the film opens, he and his team of brutal, precision thieves (including Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore) knock over (literally) an armored car for a stash of bearer bonds. On the case is Detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino), a troubled, angst-ridden veteran of the LAPD. Over the course of the film, McCauley and Hanna develop a strange sort of kinship, even as McCauley's crimes increasingly raise the stakes and Hanna's efforts to stop him become more and more desperate.

The action builds up for a solid two hours until a nearly catastrophic "final" bank robbery results in one of the most vivid shoot-outs ever filmed. Writer/director Michael Mann (best known for his work on Miami Vice) paces the movie well, and he really puts the audience through the ringer by getting the adrenaline pumping like an oil well.

But why is this film 3 hours long, you ask? The answer lies in Mann's multidimensional examinations of all the major characters, their wives, their children, and any other love interests who happen along. Thus over the course of the picture, we discover Hanna is in his third marriage and his wife's ex-husband is a deadbeat. We learn at length about McCauley's personal code: to have nothing in his life he can't walk away from in 30 seconds flat if "the heat" is coming. And when the heat does come, we see how it affects everyone...in depth. While these relationship subplots are mildly interesting, they seem completely out of place in the movie and, in the end, weigh the film down.

This aside, strong performances by the principals and some excellent bit parts by players like Hank Azaria, Tom Noonan, Natalie Portman, and Jon Voight make Heat a truly memorable film. Somewhat more difficult to figure out is Pacino, who takes his over-the-top, in-your-face screen presence to new heights, becoming almost cartoonish in his archetypal portrayal of the insanely driven cop. Altogether, the cast lends a lot of credibility to what would otherwise be another run-of-the-mill crime movie. And while the sometimes hard-to-follow script often demands too much of the viewer, this film is one that's truly worth seeing.

The new special edition DVD includes commentary from Mann, plus 11 extra scenes and five featurettes on a second DVD. Highly recommended.



Heat

Facts and Figures

Run time: 170 mins

In Theaters: Friday 15th December 1995

Box Office Worldwide: $187.4M

Budget: $60M

Distributed by: Warner Bros.

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures, Regency Enterprises

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Fresh: 65 Rotten: 11

IMDB: 8.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Lt. Vincent Hanna, as Neil McCauley, as Chris Shiherlis, as Nate, as Michael Cheritto, as Justine Hanna, as Eady, as Charlene Shiherlis, as Sergeant Drucker, as Detective Casals, as Bosko, as Donald Breedan, as Roger Van Zant, as Lauren Gustafson, as Kelso, as Richard Torena, as Alan Marciano, as Waingro, as Elaine Cheritto, as Lillian, as Trejo, as Hugh Benny, as Schwartz, as Construction Clerk, as Albert Torena, Begonya Plaza as Anna Trejo, Hazelle Goodman as Hooker's Mother, Ray Buktenica as Timmons, as Dr. Bob, as Ralph, Rick Avery as Armoured Guard, Brad Baldridge as Children's Hospital Doctor, Andrew Camuccio as Dominick, Max Daniels as Shooter at Drive-in, Vince Deadrick Jr. as Driver at Drive-in

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.