Heat Plot Summary:
A skillful cop and a professional thief, antipodes on the one hand and kindred souls on the other, both deeply devoted to their work and both tangled in private life – Al Pachino and Robert De Niro appear on the screen together to leave no one cold. By the way, these actors, who are believed to be among the strongest in Hollywood, have already played in one movie – The Godfather, Part II, but had no common scenes. Thus, Heat by Michael Mann may be referred to as the debut of this stunning duet.
The movie is based on the original L.A. Takedown made-for-television film, also directed by Mann. Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro) is the head of a successful and elusive gang of thieves. Ha has a trustworthy team - Michael Cheritto (Tom Sizemore), Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer), Waingro (Kevin Gage), and Trejo (Danny Trejo). McCauley has enough money and is fed up with criminal life. More than that, he has renounced one of the main laws of the underworld and got deeply attached to his girlfriend Eady (Amy Brenneman), who thinks he is an ordinary businessman. McCauley decides to put up with his life of a criminal and move to New Zealand after one last heist. And he surely would have done that if not being resisted by clever and sophisticated Lt. Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino). Hanna is obsessed with the idea of catching McCauley and his devotion to work makes him very unhappy in his private life. His third marriage is on the verge of divorce. These two forceful and charismatic personalities feel mutual respect in their heart of hearts but it’s clear from the very beginning that only one of them can survive in this clash of titans. Otherwise, this classical Hollywood crime movie would not be so strong and impressive.
The paradox of Heat is that the part of the fair cop is performed by Al Pacino who is especially famous for his gangster roles – Michael Corleone in The Godfather and Tony Montana in Scarface. The actor, who has always been praised for creating images of charming villains (Al Pacino even played the Satan in The Devil’s Advocate), appears in the image of an honest, tangled and unhappy man – and does the work greatly.
De Niro’s performance, however, does not yield to that of Al Pacino. This actor has also got recognition for his performance in drama movies. His scene with the mirror from Taxi Driver at the dawn of his career was included in the top-100 movie scenes of all time. De Niro is also experienced at playing gangsters – his legendary truck highjacker Jimmy Conway from Goodfellas is a good example. Now the actor is permanently succeeding in creating both dramatic and comic images (Meet the Parents), and even cameos in the performance of Robert De Niro (Limitless) are viewed as models of actor’s skill.
Actors in supporting roles also deserve to be mentioned. Val Kilmer plays a guy with an unhappy fate: being obsessed with gambling he spoils relations with his wife. 14-year-old Natalie Portman appears in the episodic role of Hanna’s stepdaughter and gets immediately noticed by critics and even nominated for the YoungStar Awards.
In general, Heat has become a classic sample of a crime movie made up in the best traditions of the genre. This strong film is absolutely worth watching.
|Genres:||Thriller | Drama | Crime/Gangster | Action/Adventure|
|Produced in:||United States|
|Starring:||Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Wes Studi|
|Directed by:||Michael Mann|
|Produced by:||Pieter Jan Brugge|
8.3 out of 10 (195,015 votes)
|Running Time:||2 hr. 51 min.|
Los Angeles, California, USA