Written on: 11/02/2005 by Hank (124 reviews written)
Robert De Niro & Al Pacino in the same movie!
Top class supporting cast
Brilliant LA setting
Superb heist and action scenes
Heat is an absolutely tremendous film that I would strongly urge anyone with a taste for good cinema to go and see. Michael Mann directs what is a stunning and enthralling cat and mouse thriller. While the plot may win no points for originality - De Niro's crew eyeing up one last job with rabid cop Pacino vowing to bring them to justice - it is executed with such perfection that the fairly unoriginal scenario really doesn't matter.
The film starts with a stylish, but brutal robbery with a twist. De Niro's mob are on the job with total efficiency in one of the best robbery scenes I've ever witnessed in film. This breathtaking raid is matched later on in the film as the villains embark on a more dangerous raid, again one which Mann directs remarkably and incisively.
Al Pacino is the man charged with putting the armed robbers into the slammer and he is on the top of his game as the cop with marital problems who won't stop and doesn't rest until he gets his man. Both Pacino and De Niro dominate every scene they're involved in and both men are a joy to watch from start to finish. As good as the supporting players are in this film, and believe me they are good (Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Ashley Judd and 24's Dennis Heysbert), none of them hold a candle to the Italian-American, Oscar-winning duo. The film's two main stars, though, share very little screen time together as the film is built around the inevitable final act where master-crook and dogged-cop must collide for the grand finale. Both characters are really a parallel of one another, neither will stop until they get what they want, both are meticulous planners and both men like to win. This is what makes the film so enthralling, and unlike many cop versus robbers films, the audience are left to make their minds up on who to root for.
The film is easily one of the best I have ever seen and one I would watch it time and again. Unlike so many crime thrillers, this film is not rushed, it has plenty of subplots and in its two and half hours of screen time, is allowed to build slowly and purposely towards the action signs which deliver with more venom than a Mike Tyson uppercut. With both De Niro and Pacino on such captivating form, this film is simply unmissable.