the fresh films reviews

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Heat (1995)

Michael Mann




170 minutes

Michael Mann
Art Linson

Michael Mann

Cast includes:

Lieutenant Vincent Hanna Al Pacino
Neil McCauley Robert De Niro
Chris Shiherlis Val Kilmer
Nate Jon Voight
Michael Cheritto Tom Sizemore
Justine Hanna Diane Venora
Eady Amy Brenneman
Charlene Shiherlis Ashley Judd
Sergeant Bobby Drucker Mykelti Williamson
Lieutenant Sammy Casals Wes Studi -
Detective Mike Bosko Ted Levine -
Don Breedan Dennis Haysbert -
Roger Van Zant William Fichtner
Lauren Gustafson Natalie Portman
Kelso Tom Noonan -
Waingro Kevin Gage
Alan Marciano Hank Azaria
Elaine Cheritto Susan Traylor -
Lillian Kim Staunton -
Trejo Danny Trejo -
Hugh Benny Henry Rollins -
Detective Danny Schwartz Jerry Trimble -
Richard Torena Tone Loc -
Albert Torena Ricky Harris -
Dr. Bob Jeremy Piven -
Ralph Xander Berkeley -



Michael Mann brought the action-genre out of its formulaic, hyperbolic 1990s formula and made it ready for the new millennium with this comprehensive cat-and-mouse movie starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. It was the iconic actors' first pairing since The Godfather Part II, and the first ever film in which they shared screen-time together although in Heat, much of the power lies in the anticipation of their encounters, not the realization of them. The basis for the film is an essentially simple crime/heist story made wide-reaching and multifaceted by crafty writing. Michael Mann had been wanting to get this idea filmed for decades; it was his magnum opus in waiting. He even made a quasi-version with the TV movie L.A. Takedown in 1989 as some sort of dress rehearsal. Luckily, he waited until he was able to get the muscle, the talent and the confidence to take the director's chair himself before rebooting his script and getting the film off the ground. The end-result is large, noisy and borderline emblematic, but also atmospheric and seductive. The direction is so tight and industrious that the enormous scale and extensive running time is not only justified, but downright necessary. Even after Mann has gone on detour after detour, you still want him to take you on another after two plus hours. And as the movie crowds you with a who's who of '90s movie stars and character actors, set up in separate but not necessarily very divergent camps of good-guys and bad-guys, you feel snugly encompassed by their dangerous fantasy world where every second of life is lived to the fullest. A crisp, slimmed down Robert De Niro, looking like a younger version of himself, gave his final great performance. Val Kilmer created a harrowingly obsessed character, and Jon Voight was more in touch with himself on-screen than he had been in a long time. The only let-down among the cast is Al Pacino, who too often resorts to shouting and staring instead of acting and reacting, although he does redeem himself with a couple of fine moments.

Copyright 30.03.2021 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang