Our film follows two different people and their ‘crew’. Firstly, we have a small team of professional bank robbers who target several banks within L.A. Leading this team is Neil (Robert De Niro). Unfortunately for Neil, during the team’s most recent heist one person in his crew makes a big mistake and a rather unwise choice which brings the interest of the LA law enforcement. This is when the film introduces us to LT Vincent (Al Pacino) who lives with his girlfriend and her daughter. Vincent is called to the major crime scene of a robbery. This robbery and crime scene begin to give direction to Vincent and his team, and begins to reveal who the bank robbers are.
Now it is Vincent vs Neil. These two men are both clever and brilliant at all they do professionally. Now they are both bringing ‘the heat’ as they try to outsmart each other. Neil is determined to put down anyone who gets in his way, and Vincent is determined to put Neil behind bars. Despite his desperation to catch Neil, Vincent will not hesitate to gun Neil down if lives are at risk. While they lead different lives, our two leads are in fact quite similar and relate to one another.
Heat is a film I remember watching on VHS for the first time as a teenager. Upon first viewing, due to my age, I certainly felt the film went a little over my head. But as time went on, I’ve been drawn back to this film for many reasons.
Firstly, the performances by both Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are incredible. Considering they rarely share the screen together, I found myself invested in both characters equally. The idea of characters who live in different worlds, but both share a number of similar elements was a great concept. One major scene the two actors do share is at a coffee shop. This scene is one of my top all-time favourite scenes in cinema history and it is a scene I would happily watch on repeat. That is how good the performances are here.
Supporting performances from actors such as Val Kilmer, Danny Trejo, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd and even a young Natalie Portman are also positive. On top of this performance, another standout is from the actor Kevin Gage who gives a creepy and unsettling performance as a character called Waingro. This character is hired last minute to work with Neil on a heist and has a much darker way of doing things.
The film’s soundtrack is rather basic, but it is incredibly effective. One example is hearing faint piano music as lines of dialogue are spoken, which only makes lines during key scenes even more powerful. I am also a proud owner of the soundtrack on CD which I still enjoy regularly.
The action is jaw-dropping, even more so for when the film was first released back in 1995. The film contains shootouts which still feel raw and suspenseful even when re-watching the film recently. Cinematography is also brilliant. Director Michael Mann has captured some tremendous shots in this film. Some moments are slowed down for viewers to enjoy an action scene and at other times the director captures excellent detail and the close-up facial expressions of our characters. The film also shows the gritty world of LA perfectly. This opening also acquaints viewers with the world of LA, setting up tone and mood before our characters are introduced.
Overall, Heat is a wonderfully made film with unforgettable performances from both Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. There is something incredible about this story and the journey they go on. They differ, but they are so like each other. Action scenes and shootouts still hold up nicely and the film feels brutal and suspenseful. If you’ve never seen Heat, it naturally comes highly recommended as it is simply one of my top-rated films. I hope one day to also see a 4K UHD release from Warner Bros. Studios, fingers crossed!
Heat (1995) is Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD!
Heat (1995) – Movie Review Podcast is Now Available!
PODCASTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE ON APPLE ITUNES & SPOTIFY
Walkden Entertainment is also Available Instagram!
Thank you for visiting!
Walkden Entertainment is also available on multiple platforms!
For more information, click here: https://linktr.ee/walkdenentertainment
Review Written by Peter Walkden