An epic tale of crime and obsession and two men on opposite sides of the law. When Al Pacino and Robert De Niro square off Heat sizzles. Written and Directed by Michael Mann Heat includes dazzling set pieces and a bank heist that USA Today's Mike Clark calls ""the greatest action scene of recent times"". It also offers ""the most impressive collection of actors in one movie this year"" (Newsweek). Val Kilmer Jon Voight Tom Sizemore and Ashley Judd are among the memorable suppo
Two of cinema's coolest tough guys come head to head for the first time in their careers under Michael Mann's stylish and explosive thriller and they don't disappoint. Al Pacino plays Vincent Hanna, an LAPD detective whose number one priority in life is to out to try and foil criminals attempting heists and murders. Robert De Niro is the equally determined Neil McCauley, who commits high-end scores with his regular and trusted crew including a Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore and an early appearance by the now legendary and cult figure of Danny Trejo.
Ultimately the two giants of acting come head to head when Neil takes a score where the rewards are bearer bonds. Things don't quite go to plan when the crew recruit the psychopathic Waingro played by Kevin Gage who doesn't act according to plan.
What makes this film well worth the watch are the acting talents on view which also include Academy Award Winners Jon Voight, and a young Natalie Portman, Diane Venora, Dennis Haysbert, Wes Studi and Ashley Judd. On top of that you have the stylish hues of the film that we've grown accustomed to when watching a Michael Mann film. Above all though, you have a rare cops and robbers film where the filmmakers have taken the time to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the main players in the film and their desires and motivations so that you end up with a story that's character driven rather than plot driven. Somewhere in the middle of the film is an explosive gun battle between the criminal crew and the LAPD that's as seemingly real a scene as you're ever likely to lay your eyes and ears on.
One can argue that the film is a little drawn out and at times the character studies are overly unnecessary and the characters don't always abide by their code, especially when it comes to some of the decision making skills of Robert De Niro's character. He makes one particular choice that's particulrly dubious which prolongs the film and its outcome considerably which disappointed me somewhat. There's also some characters whose dialogue is poorly written and make you think the situation is unbelievable and I speak of Tom Noonan who plays Kelso, the guy who searches out the banks that can be robbed, in particular. Lastly the overall feeling you get once you've viewed the film is how dysfunctional everyone is in the film and generally how vile some of the characters are and at times the film is too stylised for some of the horrors we see but you find yourself totally immersed and engrossed whilst watching the film because the characters are so well acted and believable and that's the mark of a well made film.
This DVD has plenty of additional featurettes around the making of the film, that famous scene where De Niro and Pacino meet for a coffee and material around which the film was inspired. They don't make films like this anymore!
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