#204 / 365 – ‘Heat’ (1995) – 170 mins
IMDb Challenge #121 / 250 – Ranked #115 – Via DVD Collection
In Los Angeles, a gang of armed thieves is hitting serious targets – major banks, vaults, and armored cars. These thieves are led by arch-criminal Neal MacAuley (Robert DeNiro). One of their operations, an armored-car robbery, goes bad and the armored-car guards are murdered by the gunmen – putting LAPD homicide detective Vince Hanna (Al Pacino) on the trail of the thieves. Hanna knows it will take a lot to bring these dangerous, armed thieves down. Thus the stage is set for the suspenseful ending….
Heat is another movie I haven’t watched in a very long time and it was a real treat watching it again today.
Al Pacino meets Robert DeNiro. It has a tantalizing sound to it doesn’t it?. These actors – two of the best in the business for more than forty-years – have only previously appeared in the same picture once (The Godfather Part II – (1974), but then, due to its split-timeline of the script, they never interacted together. As you might expect, Pacino and De Niro never fail to deliver on this pairing, especially in their main scene together where the adversaries share coffee and conversation in a diner, and ultimately go face-to-face. The verbal volleys make for a mesmerizing acting game of tennis – a flawless scene.
DeNiro is the epitome of movie cool throughout Heat, whilst Pacino reigns in some booming shouting. These two legends aside, there are strong performances from the rest of the supporting cast of Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd, Tom Noonan, Jon Voight and a young Natalie Portman who shows early promise.
The plot of in Michael Mann’s written and directed epic heist movie is satisfying complex, fully justifying its nearly three-hour running time. The action and tension is a slow burning affair, as it gets across some brilliant multidimensional examinations of all the major players, then WHAM shortly before the two hour mark it hits you with its nearly catastrophic ‘final’ bank robbery, which results in one of the most vivid, loud and epic shoot-outs ever filmed, until Mann equaled it with ‘Public Enemies (2009)’.