Michael Mann is a fine filmmaker worth getting excited over when he releases a new film. Granted, he’s had a few misfires in his career but he often gets a film so right. Case in point: Heat. I had to recently go out and get the two disc re-release of this film on Bluray because its honestly a classic and something that every cinephile should have. A heist thriller starring two of the greatest actors of all time in Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, what more could you ask for?
The film is about a thief Neil McCauley and his various acts of crime involving a team, which involves robbing banks and settling scores violently with enemies. On the other hand, Vincent Hanna is a detective that is endlessly hunting McCauley down. We get a wonderful game of cat and mouse and plenty of action to boot. Both Pacino and DeNiro previously collaborated in The Godfather II, but weren’t really on screen together. In this film the two leads are on screen together for a limited amount of time but boy is it fantastic.
I don’t have many complaints for the film. The characters are well thought out, the film is inherently simple but the delivery is complex but quite structured. DeNiro/Pacino deliver in their performances. As a matter of fact I’d say this is collectively one of their last great films (as they both have had career downturns shortly afterwards). I’d say the only negative I can draw out is ropy graphics in two scenes that involve a backdrop of the city. Otherwise, its really clutching at straws to find any negatives.
The film has has a few other stars of the time littered throughout the film which is pretty awesome. Its one of the few Val Kilmer films that is genuinely good! Its sad that we couldn’t get another DeNiro/Pacino film while they were in their prime (to no ones surprise Righteous Kill was disappointing). This was the best Michael Mann effort and a very fine film that I’m sure was influential for films that came after. You can’t really be a movie buff if you haven’t seen this one.