October 8, 2014


Michael Mann, 1995
A group of elusive professional robbers have met their match when there is a unexpected slip-up on a job and they find themselves suddenly in the sights of hot-headed homicide detective Lt. Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino).

Michael Mann's action thriller pits DeNiro vs. Pacino (one of three films that the two co-starred in together) to satisfy any movie-lovers dream. Set in the backdrop of the concrete jungle of 1990's Los Angeles, much of the film consists of night shots littered with thousands of squared lit windows as one of the many police helicopters present in the city drift through the sky. When present in the day hours, you are probably looking at a contemporary structure that seems to be holding on to the side of a southern California cliff. If you aren't there, you're in a bank or close to money which at that point you are probably muffling your ears from the sounds of automatic rifle fire. Much of the film is the robbing crew on the move, with Vincent's men hot on their tail. The best of the best. Not many bank robbers are pulling architectural plans before a job, and not many detectives are meeting criminals at a club at 2AM for a ambiguous tip that may or may not even pay off. Dedication on all fronts. It's that cat and mouse concept that keeps the film compelling, although there are so many layers to this great picture to follow. Heat is home to one of the great bank robbery scenes of all time, and if you haven't seen this film you've probably heard about it. It's a lengthly action drama that's not without some over-dramatization, some over-acting by the wavering Pacino (although he provides some of the most memorable quotes on film that are forever in your brain), and some questionable plot-holes here and there. But you're willing to let the imperfections go. Even if you've seen this film a few times and you revisit it years later, you are bound to find something new.

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