So much testosterone in this movie, except where it matter, in cinema. But even worst than all this fireworks for 2 and half long hours, is seeing the histrionic performance of Al Pacino (doing already the same act that he made in “Scarface”. Unfortunately that actor that I love so much in “Panic in Needle Park”, “Serpico”, “Godfather” or “Carlito’s Way” vanish)
The sentimentalities are trite and mushy, they get in the way of the film's ability to build suspense or maintain a cohesive storyline. Or perhaps, it's the flimsy attempt at drawn out action scenes that get in the way of what may otherwise be a decent emotional drama. Al Pacino is a god, the rest are okay- there's just a lot of sleepy filler. Also, the sound mixing is horrible!! Not Mann's best in my opinion.
Al Pacino and Robert deNiro are on opposite sides of the law in this great heist movie. It has a lot of good subplots and one of the best ensembles put together. Great hand-held sequences makes one feel in the middle of the action and Michael Mann show again why he is one of the best action movie directors out there. The subplot with Natalie Portman doesn't really work that well though.
This could be just another generic crime thriller, but what sets it apart is that it is emotionally convincing. Short lines of dialogue have a deep impact, because there's so much in between those lines. And the shootout in the streets of L.A. is like a clean knockout - brutal and amazing.
A film I hated on release, feeling it was bloated and boring. Over the years my feelings have changed radically and I have come to love it as an epic thriller par excellence. Mann pulls of an intricate narrative while providing sufficient space for his actors to breathe without surrendering any dramatic tension - quite the opposite: this is a truly absorbing, emotional and thrilling experience.
There's not much to add to a conversation about Heat, but the choices Mann made for the transitions between different tonal sections within the score is pure genius, as is using LA as nothing but a panoramic backdrop for portrait cinematography (including using an actual helicopter as a backlight/lens flare device).
No need to mention all the positives, repeated so many times over the years. It is worth pointing out how far ahead cinema has moved in the 22 years since in terms of female characters. All female characters in Heat are either brutally murdered, emotionally one-dimensional, painfully unintelligent, or just plain generic. You could spin this the other way and say it is a film about dysfunctional men, but still ...
White-collar crime-riddled LA under Mann is a sleek neon-light laberynth of dysfunctional human relationships drifting away in the wake of cat-and-mouse police chase. But sexy coolness and an ambitious intention of shedding some broken humanity into the somewhat predictible genre do not make up for some of the silliness that dots the plot and that turns it rather childish and uncomprehensible at times.