Oscar® winners Al Pacino* and Robert De Niro** both drive one of the most powerful and complex crime dramas of all time - four-time Oscar nominee Michael Mann's*** 1995 classic HEAT, arriving in an all-new Director's Definitive Edition May 9th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
In the wake of a precision heist of an armored van, the crew of a fierce, professional thief (De Niro) and an obsessively driven LAPD detective (Pacino) are locked in deadly opposition as they vector towards each other in Mann's dazzling, twilight vision of Los Angeles. As the stakes escalate and their lives begin to unravel, the crew initiates its most dangerous and complex heist.
Taking inspiration from the late Chicago police detective Charlie Adamson – who killed the actual Neil McCauley in a shootout in 1963 – HEAT was the culmination of years of research by Mann resulting in its depth and range of characters and choreography of action. With its epic scale and stunning performances from Pacino, De Niro, Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd, Amy Brenneman, Diane Venora, Natalie Portman and Jon Voight, HEAT is as incendiary as it was 20 years ago.
*Actor, Scent of a Woman, 1992
**Actor, Raging Bull, 1980; Supporting Actor, The Godfather: Part II, 1974
***The Aviator, 2004, Best Picture (Michael Mann and Graham King, Producers) The Insider: Directing, Best Picture (Michael Mann and Pieter Jan Brugge, Producers), Adapted Screenplay (Eric Roth, Michael Mann)
Cast & Crew
When Pacino's loud, bruised cop and De Niro's canny crook stare at each other, you can read something spent and weary in their eyes and voices. The heat is hell. So are their jobs -- but somebody's got to do them.
The taciturn De Niro and the braying Pacino share a flawless scene over a cup of coffee, but the real honors go to Val Kilmer and Ashley Judd as a warring, loving couple.
Just when it seemed that the only hope for crime movies lay in the postmodernist artifice of films like Pulp Fiction, Mann reinvests the genre with brooding, modernist conviction. This one sticks to your gut.
There's nothing really new in this lengthy 1995 thriller by writer-director Michael Mann about cops and robbers in Los Angeles, but it has craft, pacing, and an overall sense of proportion, three pretty rare classic virtues nowadays.
An odd though often entertaining blend of The Asphalt Jungle and Oprah, a traditional cops-and-robbers story weirdly fitted out with long, earnest discussions of interpersonal relationships.
There isn't much going on at this party other than what the actors bring to it. But fortunately, Mann has invited some exceptional ones.
Heat becomes consistently more interesting as it forges on toward the 180-minute mark.