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171 mins
dir. Michael Mann
stars - Robert De Niro - Neil McCauley
Al Pacino - Vincent Hanna
Val Kilmer - Chris Shiherlis
Jon Voight - Nate
Tom Sizemore - Michael Cheritto
Diane Venora - Justine Hanna
Ashley Judd - Charlene Shiherlis

This movie is a remake of Michael Mann's 1989 movie L.A. Takedown which was the blueprint to Heat. Here he had the opportunity to build on this blueprint and he also had the luxury of having the two best living actors starring in it which resulted in a movie that is often refered to as a modern classic and an epic. It isn't classic but it is an excellent film and I think that sometimes it is only called an epic because he takes almost three hours to tell the story.

The story is about two guys, one on each side of the law who allow what would ordinarily be a regular cops vs. robbers case become a personal battle between the two of them. Al Pacino plays the obsessive police chief Vincent Hanna and Robert De Niro plays Neil McCauley the professional thief that Vincent is looking to take down on his next job, but when Vincent is unsuccessful on this attempt it starts to get a little more personal. The respect for that they have for each other results in the famous cafe scene where Vincent and Neil sit face to face discussing how, even though they are having this chat, both of them will not hesitate to take the other out if it becomes necessary. This is probably the most talked about scene in the whole movie, because although they were both in The Godfather: Part II, they were never actually on screen together at the same time, but this cafe scene in Heat represents the first time that these two greats, De Niro and Pacino have been together on screen, and although it was long over due it was definitely worth the wait.

The movie combines some brilliant action sequences with both Vincent's and Neil's struggles with their respective private lives. Vincent is having big trouble with his ex-wife and his step daughter whereas Neil is kind of seeing some girl on a fairly irregular basis and he doesn't want his career to be disrupted because of this and so it doesn't really work out. As for the action sequences they are fantastic. The heist on the van at the beginning is good and in the second half of the movie there is a huge street battle in downtown L.A. which has got to be seen. All the storylines eventually culminate in what could have been a really cheesy ending but luckily it wasn't and it is a suitable ending to the film.

You can't really go far wrong with Heat, a smart cast and a great story all result in a top film. The movie also contains one of my favorite movie quotes.


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