Heat is considered a classic among cinephiles. Some consider it one of Michael Mann’s best movies. Some consider it a classic cops-and-robbers movie, but it is a great cat-and-mouse movie. Back in the time before Al Pacino lost all volume control and Robert De Niro stopped giving a fuck about the roles he took, they both came together for Heat. A movie, based on the podcast above, is prime De Niro and Pacino.
The plot is simplistic enough, you have a group of men robbing from one man to sell back his own stuff to said robbed man. The theory is because the robbed man would make money from the insurance and be able to retrieve his stolen items, thus making him come out ahead. Sound complicated? That is the reason Heat works on so many levels.
The movie is a remake of LA Takedown, which was done as a television movie by Michael Mann back in 1989. Some six years later, he retools the script for a feature film and it becomes cinematic gold. The crimes become a backdrop to the private lives of the main characters of McCauley’s crew and police detective Vincent Hanna. Not until Collateral do we see Mann’s use of Los Angeles as a supporting character in a film.
Yes, that awesome shootout in Downtown Los Angeles!
However, you need to make it through a huge chunk of the movie to get to that shootout. By that point, you find yourself getting this as a payoff for the suspense that has been building up for the last hour. Even after that, you are rooting for McCauley to make it out with Eady but he lets his personal feelings with getting revenge cloud his judgement. Even Donald Breedan, who is a featured character, gets a demise that sort of stabs you in the chest.
The framing of each scene, pacing, acting and score of this movie keeps you on your toes but it could easily become the most boring heist movie you have ever seen in the hands of a lesser director. Mann saved that for his other films like Miami Vice and Blackhat, let us not forget Public Enemies.
Heat has an amazing cast in supporting roles, many of whom have not hit yet, and many others in their prime. The tension of the film leaves an impact on you, as well as leaving you with a sense of loss by the end of the movie. If you even simply need a summary of the overall quality of the film, you simply need to look no further than the café scene between McCauley and Vincent. ‘Nuff said.
“Secrets of the Schoolyard” – Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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