The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba.
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>
Much of the film is based off a real-life confrontation between Chicago cop Chuck Adamson and the REAL Neil McCauley. Adamson was a retired police officer whom director Michael Mann had been working with off and on since the film Thief starring James Caan (and based upon the career of famed Chicago burglar Frank Hohimer whom Adamson had arrested). They had later worked together on two shows produced by Mann, "Miami Vice" and "Crime Story". According to Chuck Adamson (and confirmed by Michael Mann) in the Heat-Special Edition DVD Documentary "Crime Stories", McCauley was a professional robber whom he had frequently crossed paths with. Events such as the scene between Vincent Hanna and Neil McCauley in the coffee shop where they basically tell each other that the last time they meet will be their last, and the warehouse sting where McCauley got tipped off that the cops were around due to an officer making a noise really happened. In real life, the real Neil McCauley was killed during a robbery of a grocery store (similar to the bank heist shootout) by Adamson's team who were tipped off to the robbery. See more »
When Hanna enters his hotel room after deciding to call off his pursuit of the case, he closes the door and we can see that the anti-intruder latch has been fitted the wrong way round. See more »
Micheal Manns'(director of 'The Insider', and 'Manhunter') smooth, straightforward direction is studded with brilliant and very memorable cinematic gems in 'Heat', A bullet riddled drama with, yes , Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in their first on screen meeting.
What do you want to hear about 'Heat'. Is it DeNiro's best performance? No. Is it Pacino's best performance? I'd be lying if I said it was. Do the performances improve the story? Absolutely. Mann has written (he wrote it as well) a complex and exciting two-sided story that develops the hunter Vincent Hanna (Pacino) and the hunted Neil McCauley (De Niro) separately throughout much of the film. Underneath a hail of bullets Mann is able to paint both lead characters with the same brush by delving into the similarly tragic and chaotic personal lives of Hanna and McCauley, allowing for the final epic scene, which would have been too pretentious if it were not for the excellent performances of Pacino and De Niro.
Bottom Line: Not having seen this movie is akin to idiocy for anyone claiming to be a fan of movies. 9 out of 10
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