Their have been a lot of cop movies and T.V. shows over the years, (the latter of which are way too many), and some are great, like The Departed, or horrible and/or forgettable. The one I'll be talking about today is one that has seemed to be forgotten by modern audiences, even though its influence can still be seen today. This is the Illusive One's Review of Heat.
Released in 1995, the film was directed by Michael Mann and starts Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd, William Fichtner, Danny Trejo and early roles for Natalie Portman and Dennis Haysbert. Inspired by real life exploits of Neil McCalley and Chuck Adamson, the film revolves around Major Crimes Unit Detective, Vincent Hanna, (Pacino) and professional thief Neil McCalley, (De Niro), as Hanna tries to bust McCalley, while McCalley tries to pull off his scores, all the while dealing with their own personal lives.
On the positive side, the movie had great acting, great action sequences, and a great cops and robbers story. Pacino was great as a cop who put his job first ahead of everyone and De Niro was great as a thief who is conflicted with his professional and personal life. The whole rivalry between the two was greatly played out and by the films end, I honestly couldn't decide which of the two I wanted to see win. There were also a lot of underlying themes about how cops and thieves have trouble keeping their personal relationships intact, and how society treats ex-cons. More famous than its plot and themes, however, are its individual scenes such as the confrontation between Hanna and McCalley in a coffee shop and McCalley catching on to the cops during a heist. The most famous and best however, is the climactic bank heist that turns into a shootout between the cops and thieves and is my favorite bank heist on film.
On the negative side, the film is nearly three hours long and gets dull at times. Most of the characters were boring in comparison with the main characters and there were so many sub-plots going on that it was hard to keep track of what was going on all the time. Last to note is that he blood effects are outdated and look fake in comparison to some of the stuff they have out now.
All around, however, this was definitely one of the better cops and robbers movies of the last twenty years and still influences other pieces of fiction to this day. For example, Grand Theft Auto IV contains a bank robbery that was directly inspired by the bank heist in the film and the 2010 film, The Town, was a campy rip-off of it. If you have three hours to spare, I'd recommend renting it and seeing. It's well worth a watch.
Until next time, this is the Illusive One saying Don't get attached to anything you can't walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.