Cert: 15 / 163 mins / Dir. Michael Mann / Trailer
How can a film which is held in such universally high esteem be so difficult to love? Michael Mann's 1995 crime epic owes so much to Tarantino that it's had to take out a loan with Coppola just to keep up the repayments.
For all the fantastic set-pieces and ambitious story-weaving, Heat is three hours of grimacing and mumbling, padded out with needless back-story masquerading as character-building. It feels like a great TV series has been compressed down into a movie, but the writers didn't want to leave anything out so the incidental characters still appear, but without any real purpose or closure.
The real problem (for me, admittedly) is that the film's characters are so inherently unlikeable or poorly drawn that I didn't care if they lived or died come the final credits. And if your characters are that uninteresting to begin with, spending time watching their home-lives deteriorate isn't going to help matters either.
Don't take my moaning to heart, I didn't actively dislike Heat, and the dynamic between Pacino's over-acting cop, Hanna and career-criminal McCauley is the fascinating linchpin of the movie. But aside from their restaurant-conversation scene, it's a drawn-out cops'n'robbers-by-numbers with any actors who didn't star in The Godfather films left to fend for themselves as the plot moves on the the focus is whittled down to two threads.
There's a really great 100-minute thriller in here, somewhere, but Heat needs less characters and more character development.
If you like overly-long movies that have been done before in half the time, sure.
Not that I heard.
Heat stars Queen Amidala herself, Natalie Portman.
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