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Uh, yeah. Very little of this film worked for me.
The dialogue was horrendous, made several degrees worse by Pacino delivering one of the most bizarre performances I've ever seen from him. It's not forgivable, especially considering the acting he's proven he can do, and that the character he's playing is little more than the well-trodden, workaholic cop with messy home life.
DeNiro was better, although he created a character so completely incapable of chemistry or romance that his relationship with Edie doesn't make a lick of sense throughout the entire film. Honestly, he doesn't even smile at her, they just fire off questions as if they're in some two-way interrogation–no back and forth–and after they've extracted enough information from each other they decide to start making out. What?
Other than the fact that I didn't find either of the main characters worthy of empathy, which is sort of huge, the film tried to go way too big. There are too many supporting characters and side stories, most of which are unnecessary and jarringly spliced in, and because of it few of the scenes flow at all. It would have been okay if the plot was competent enough to keep track of everything it introduces, but the pacing completely misappropriates its time. The result: the few great stories with some promise, which only needed patience to be masterfully developed, were severely truncated. As another commenter previously mentioned, what the hell happened to Val Kilmer? I guess that one scene was supposed to imply him leaving forever, despite the entire movie insisting that his wife meant everything to him?
Apart from a tiny handful of great scenes and shots that were well composed, Heat doesn't earn that much redemption. The score had the tendency to be both out of place and in your face, all the characters seemed to live in confusingly similar houses, and the movie had two obnoxious cases of "just forcibly embrace the rightfully emotional women until they do what you want."
Ultimately, I don't know how a film could drag so severely and still have such attention deficit, but this poorly executed mess manages to pull it off. Worth watching if you don't like DeNiro having emotions, enjoy Pacino speaking as though he's always on cocaine, and get off on watching male characters assert their dominance by randomly breaking shit in bursts of spontaneous and unprovoked anger.
I saw this, and i really don't get the hype, This is a so so heist movie. For me it wasn't the great actors movie movie everyone is making it out to be.
When Heat's casting director credit came on, I felt like standing up and applauding. This movie is LOADED with great actors, even in the smaller parts. Marketed as Al Pacino and Rovbert DeNiro FINALLY acting opposite each other, it also stars Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, John Voight, Ashley Judd, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, William Fichtner, Dennis Haysbert, Hank Azaria, Danny Trejo, Tone Loc, and kiddie Natalie Portman! I mean geez! Even though it's a three-hour heist-cop picture, director Michael Mann never lets it get boring, and even relishes in showing us his characters' personal lives. A typical film might use one of these as a subplot, but personal lives are used as additional "heat" placed on the main characters. And Pacino-DeNiro going head to head? It seems there was a choice to have them play to type, but even if their characters behave very much like other characters they've played (extrovert and introvert), it's the chess game between the best cop and the best thief that makes Heat exciting. Deserves to be mentioned more when discussing awesome crime dramas.
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In 21 official lists
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This movie ranks #27 in IMDb's 1990s Top 50
This movie ranks #29 in Time Out's The 101 Best Action Movies Ever Made
This movie ranks #33 in IMDb's Crime Top 50
This movie ranks #33 in IMDb's Thriller Top 50
This movie ranks #37 in MovieSense 101
This movie ranks #38 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #54 in FilmTotaal Forum's Top 100
This movie ranks #90 in 101 Gangster Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #98 in FOK!'s Film Top 250
This movie ranks #126 in IMDb's Top 250
This movie ranks #241 in Reddit Top 250
This movie ranks #325 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #393 in TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films
This movie ranks #395 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #419 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #453 in Mark Cousins's The Story of Film: An Odyssey
This movie ranks #696 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #887 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #888 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Worldwide Box Office
This movie ranks #949 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #959 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office