A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.
Hunters and their prey--Neil and his professional criminal crew hunt to score big money targets (banks, vaults, armored cars) and are, in turn, hunted by Lt. Vincent Hanna and his team of cops in the Robbery/Homicide police division. A botched job puts Hanna onto their trail while they regroup and try to put together one last big 'retirement' score. Neil and Vincent are similar in many ways, including their troubled personal lives. At a crucial moment in his life, Neil disobeys the dictum taught to him long ago by his criminal mentor--'Never have anything in your life that you can't walk out on in thirty seconds flat, if you spot the heat coming around the corner'--as he falls in love. Thus the stage is set for the suspenseful ending.... Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
In the director's commentary, Michael Mann said that Neil's trademark gray suits were designed to help him blend into a crowd and not draw attention to himself. See more »
Near the end, when Neil and Eady are driving the interstates of L.A., at one point they are approaching an interstate ramp curve to the left. In the next shot, they are clearly in a curve to the right. See more »
One of the most amazing things about Heat is the scale of the film; it is nearly three hours long and packed to bursting with mind-blowing visuals. It seems one of Michael Mann's main priorities was to make a film with a dreamlike feel to it, to portray LA as a dusty oil-painting on which complex characters could play out their lives. One of the main themes is the similarity of the career criminal and the street-wise cop. It is fascinating to find yourself really feeling for DeNiro's tragic bank-robber, a man of philosophical merit who realises he's stuck in a life of crime he doesn't want to lead. Pacino's cop is less easy to sympathise with, but he too leads an in-escapable life of guns and crime. What really stands out is the climax. On the whole, Heat has to be the best cops n' robbers film ever made, indeed, one of the best films. An epic, wonderful, sad, adrenaline-fuelled exercise in scale and grandeur.
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