Director's Definitive Edition
review by Bobby Blakey
Director Michael Mann has a rich history of great films including The Last of the Mohicans, Ali, and Collateral. In 1995 he delivered his heist masterpiece with Heat that features an awesome cast including Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd, Amy Brenneman, Diane Venora, Natalie Portman and Jon Voight. Does this classic heist film hold up or will it fail to make the getaway?
Heat follows the wake of a precision heist of an armored truck where an obsessive detective begins to hunt ruthless, professional thief Neil McCauley through the streets of Los Angeles. As the stakes escalate, their lives begin to mirror and unravel, and McCauley’s crew initiates it’s most dangerous and complex heist.
It has been years since I have watched this film and while I always thought it was great I don’t think I ever really appreciated it. This flick has everything you want in a crime thriller and heist flick with a cast that is iconic and perfect. I had forgotten how many great actors were in outside of the main cast in some of their earliest roles.
DeNiro and Pacino are not surprisingly perfection here with easily the best sequence of the film being their short scene of dialogue over coffee. The action set pieces are big and perfectly executed, but seeing these two masters of their craft play verbal tennis is magical. I always thought it was such an interesting approach to have Pacino’s cop be the more over the top character with DeNiro being the calm, cool and sinister one.
Val Kilmer is excellent as the crazed member of the crew, but I would be lying if it didn’t make me a bit sad knowing his state of health now. In the end this film holds up to perfection from beginning to end. I have always felt it runs a bit long and that still holds up as I think it could be trimmed a bit, also appreciate Mann telling the story he wanted to tell and keeping it intact.
Filled with great drama, performances and action this is the quintessential heist film that all others strive to be to this day. This new 4K version looks outstanding and enhances the already awesomeness of this flick.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including commentary, deleted scenes and more. Grab your copy of Heat available now on 4K for the first time from 20th Century Studios.