Movie Review – Heat

Posted: June 2, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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Heat is yet another crime saga by yet another celebrated director Michael Mann and has two of the biggest names in Hollywood. Al Pacino and De Niro. When you have such huge names you rarely worry about the story. That’s what has happened here. I’ve watched The Insider and Ali by Michael Mann. I kind of liked both but I wasn’t amazed. Mann has a different way of dealing crime stories. He deals the psychological aspect. I found Al more tired in The Insider than Insomnia but the show stealer there was Russel Crowe. About the other movie, it was an okayish movie for me but the reviews were bad for that one. Michael Mann has been that type of director who interests me to go and watch the movie for him but I never do get out of the theatres happy for watching his movies.


Ever since I knew I’ve been a fan of De Niro. Here I get a chance to see both of them on screen so that I could review them from close quarters. This time to my surprise Al Pacino wins. In fact Al has a lot of better movies than De Niro. De Niro started to act in a lot of bad movies towards his end of the career but De Niro’s association with Scorsese proved to be his strong point. Every time I compare Al and De Niro Raging Bull and Taxi Driver comes into picture and throws Al totally out of the equation. These two movies are the strongest point of De Niro.

In here both De Niro and Al acts the way they are good at. De Niro is a silent criminal who masterminds every criminal activity they carry on. He’s recluse, he doesn’t show off his anger and sticks to the plan. Whereas Al is a police official who is hard borne on the criminals. He gets easily angry and is an amalgamation of emotions. His life seems to be more deteriorated than that of De Niro. De Niro works for his life whereas Al is obsessed with work. He’s a guy who couldn’t concentrate on other work until he has finished his task in office. And that makes his family a mess and his wife starts hating him.

There might be many people in the plot but it’s the story about these two individuals Hanna (Al Pacino) and McCauley (De Niro). There could even have been role reversal and they could even have worked on the same side. The problem between the two is they both respect each other. They adore each other’s work which makes them hate even more because they both know that the other one is better than himself. Hanna being the more expressive of the two shows this off frequently but we had to wait till the climax to know that McCauley too has equal affection or respect for Hanna.

These guys meet only about a couple of times during the entire course of the movie and that are the real high points of the movie. The rest of the movie doesn’t go with a pace one wants to see. It’s in fact a drag. For films like these background music are of very much importance. You should either have background music throughout or don’t have them at all. I know Departed is totally incomparable to this one but still Departed had an awesome background music. The crux of the story looks like Departed but definitely Departed is a far more superior film in every aspect. After all it’s Scorsese’s.

So we get to hear that electrifying background only once when Hanna meets McCauley. The scene before that where they meet face to face was the awesomest scene of the movie. It resembles the Anthony and Basha scene in Basha. Al’s cry and De Niro’s laugh are a pleasure to watch. Even at that point they stick to their characters. It was such a pleasure to watch. The following scene ensures the positive aura between the two. I don’t like these enemy guys talking with each other. If you got to shoot, shoot, don’t talk!

Out of the two Hanna is a clear loser. The only mistake that McCauley does is let a woman in his life. That makes him a little sentimental guy. Right during the climax he gets a tip about the guy who tried to back stab him. A person who has stayed by the books all throughout couldn’t resist the temptation to take revenge on the guy who had double crossed him. That one mistake is enough for Hanna to pounce on him and avenge him.  The loud action sequence between the two groups right after the heist didn’t appeal to me. McCauley’s gang was firing rounds without taking a proper cover at all and it becomes obvious that McCauley is going to survive the fight. I’d rather prefer the climax silent fight between Hanna and McCauley where we could watch them from close quarters and appreciate their expressions rather than the adrenaline rush.

I couldn’t exactly tell why I didn’t like the movie. It wasn’t dumb but dull. May be this whole gangster genre is getting on me. Similar thing happened to me with movies about Hitler and his antics. Again and again the same concept totally gets on you and at some point of time makes you sick. That’s what has happened to me with movies of this genre. Though I won’t shy off from gangster movies because of the fun aspect it definitely needs a break as of now. One more problem with gangster flicks is this time I didn’t have the mood exactly to sit back and analyze the film instead was expecting a first rate thriller but no matter what mood I had be in I don’t think I’d have liked the movie.

Special mention to Natalie Portman. I somehow fall in love with every young lady character in De Niro’s films. It was Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver and its Natalie Portman here. Oh what an amazing actor she is. Well, that’s for another day!


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