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Should have been a sequel to Malone
curtis-820 November 2007
Even though it came out a few months earlier, this great Burt Reynold's obscurity, "Heat," could have easily been a sequel to his other great 80s obscurity, "Malone." Once you changed a couple of small plot points to make the films consistent, you'd still have exactly the same character at the center of each. Burt acts the same, looks the same, dresses the same, and his character in Heat has a very similar background and the exact same skills as the one on "Malone." In fact, the two films even share some of the same lines of dialog (almost). In "Malone" the young girl tells Burt's character that he must like violence. Burt replies that "No, I'm just good at it--there's a difference." In "Heat" Peter McNichol asks Burt if he's a naturally violent person. To which Burt replies "No, I'm just good at it." I mean, really--could that be a total coincidence?

Another similarity--"Malone" was basically a old fashioned Western in the "Shane" mode. "Heat" is basically a Spaghetti Western in the revenge mode.

I love both of these flicks and wish they'd get decent DVD releases.
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Reynolds is better than the script.
smatysia12 November 1999
One of Burt Reynold's best performances. Having said that, the movie has some definite shortcomings. Mex's dreams of Venice seem awfully thin. The part where he interacts with MacNichols is much better than the Mafia stuff that the film degenerates into. All in all, however, a much better film than you'd think. (for all its obscurity)
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Good Gambling Movie
Sweens-225 September 1998
I used to be a 21 dealer in Nevada and "Heat" is one of the best films about the gambling mentality. Very realistic. Karen Young's performance was great. Reynolds in one of his better roles and Peter MacNichol offers indications of things to come. I rate it a 7.
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Mystic Jedi Burt
BigJimMcBastard4 February 2004
I found this movie in a drunken stupor in the cheap movie bin at Wal Mart, and being the Burt Reynolds fan that I am, I picked it up. What that DVD case contained was one of the most ridiculous ever. Burt Reynolds break's a dude's leg by kicking him, slashes another guy's face with a credit card...and that's just the start of all the fun! AT the end of the film, he pushes a wall over on a bad guy, inpales on with a medal rod onto a circuit board, electrocuting him...then the best one of the film...he throws gasoline all over some poor shmuck, then Burt proceeds to jump 30 feet in the air, kick out a light bulb, which sets the gas-soaked man ablaze. Oh yeah, he also uses his the Force to pick up a butter knife when startled by the guy from Ghostbusters 2. COnfused yet? Hope so. This movie will make ya that way, so be prepared, young ones. I give this movie my best rating possible---5 bong hits out of 5!!!
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Very Intense....please read this review
movieman-13823 July 2003
The beginning of this movie I thought it was a horror film, a shot following a bloody woman to the ER. This is a cheat as Roger Ebert puts it and misleads us. However that set-up with the beat up girl is incredibul...its very interesting how the director chooses to take revenge on the people who beat up the girl...HOWEVER I have seen over a million movies in my day believe me and this is by far the worst ending I have ever seen. EVER. After seeing the movie I was not mad I spent 2hrs watching it because the early action scenes were very good and showing the star with a gambling problem very unique. We all know what happens to people with gambling problems and you see in the movie. However this is a very small subplot and does not get expanded in the least...very weak. There are so many things this movie could have been. And about the HORRIBLE ending I would never give it away even thou I belive it to be the worst anti-climax ending ever it is sooooooooo uniqie I dont believe any movie ever made has done it and for good reason. A million more movies can come out in the next 20 years none will end like this come on...YOUR LEADING UP TO THE FINAL BATTLE WITH a guy who has been in vietnam and is considered to be one of the deadliest men in the world and they don't even fight...you have to see what happens...wow...I can't take it. This is the longest review I have ever written on this site and I just can't get over how good this movie could have been. A dam shame...6.8 out of 10 but a definite viewing for any gamblerholic or lover of offbeat cinema.
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A different kind of heat
videorama-759-85939128 October 2016
I didn't realize that film was made in '86, a year for film that I loved. The cover makes the film looks more than it is, which it isn't. This is a 90+ minute film that doesn't use too many scenes (for some just drag) or story structure that basically goes out the window for the stretch, and we wonder what the hell. And we kind of wonder what Burt is doing in this too. I mean if you're interested in watching Burt (a private eye here) win, and blow ten grand, go ahead. It's kind of interesting, especially Burt losing so bad, it causes the dealer and good friend (Scarwid) to draw tears. The paper thin revenge tale (oh, yes this from a book) of course is set in Vegas, where a close lady friend of Burt's (Young) has been up pretty bad by these three guys, two real beefy, and we know how dangerous Burt can get when provoked, causing him to do some really serious damage, the other guy, a thin sissy, faggoty type with ties to the mafia. Him and Burt meet late together in the Mafia chambers, you could say, but prefore to this, and after he does some irreparable damage, he takes some nice bundles of cash, which he gives to his avenged lady friend, who watches the show Burt gives, then skips town, where a new client, (Ally McBeal's Peter MaCnichol) befriends Burt, looking to him as his teacher, trying to make him stronger, than the whining loser he is. I really did like the scenes between these two. Yes, this is a film that will disappoint a lot of viewers, with high expectations, where they brought down, bad, but give it some more views. Very well shot, some moments near the end are shot very dark, bringing to mind the shot torture scene in Sharky's Machine.
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Underrated...as were many of Burt's movies from the 80's
fullbug18 June 2015
Reynolds did a few lame ducks in the 80's, but this is not one of them. The movie takes place in Las Vegas and is complex with several sub-plots and character undertones.

Burt plays an Ex-Special Forces Op turned gambling addict that hires out in solving various problems for his clients. Everything from bodyguard to that of playing the role of fall guy for a weakling trying to impress his girlfriend to that of helping a rape victim friend seek revenge against the son of a wealthy syndicated mobster. There are also profound scenes that depict his gambling addiction.

Great cast and acting, decently written and directed, and a music score that captures the appropriate atmosphere to this darker side of life on The Strip.


Other overlooked winners by Reynolds in the 80's include: Sharkey's Machine, Stick, Malone, Physical Evidence, and Breaking-In.
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Few memorable bits in the first half, forgettable second half
gaylordsmythe-higglebott2 September 2014
I give credit to any medium that starts with me disliking a character, then gets me to change my mind a few scenes later. We also get some memorable moments, one which will not leave my head anytime soon.

After the fifty minute mark though the intensity started to die, and with it my interest.

This movie is two stories that /mostly/ come together in the third act.

Story one I quite liked. The killing intent Holly (Karen Young) exhibited grabbed my full attention. We also get a thoroughly despicable (if not terribly fleshed out) psychopath as a bonus.

Story two was where I started to drift. Rich white dudes who think not getting hurt period can be solved with winning a fist fight. Mex's (Reynolds') self-destructive tendencies which had me pitying him, but didn't really make me feel closer to him emotionally. (Shucks, I felt closer to the Black Jack dealer.) Our lead kept sabotaging his own dreams and his character wasn't strong enough that this type of story worked for me.

The ending had adequate tension, but not enough to save the movie.

The two reasons I would recommend this film are 1) Karen Young's performance 7/10 stars and/or 2) You are a Burt Reynolds fan.
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This movie was a bit of a gamble!
GOWBTW7 March 2014
Burt Reynolds has know to be an action hero as well as a wisecracking actor. In "Heat", he never uses a gun. Reynolds plays Nick "Mex" Escalante, a former soldier of fortune who is also a habitual gambler in Las Vegas. He meets different people, protecting them as well. When teaching one man to be tough, a call girl named Holly(Karen Young) get viciously beaten by a new high roller(Neill Barry) who is back by a pair of giants. Holly demands revenge, but she needed Mex's help. He goes in disguise, takes out the two giant thugs and takes out DeMarco as well. While tied up, Holly comes in, with a pair of shears, and did the unthinkable. Baby(Joseph Mascolo) hears the news on what happened. But he wanted Mex's side of the story since he finds DeMarco accounts kind of questionable. The loophole was Mex doesn't use guns. Earlier, he met a man named Cyrus Kinnick(Peter MacNicol), who knows about his situation: He wants to go to Venice. After training him to be tough, he repays Mex with some money to go. Before they can go further, DeMarco and his goons ambushes them, only wounding Kinnick. He didn't look like much when Mex met him, but he appeared a lot tougher than he thought he was. A gun-less victory is possible when you're a super soldier. Just tell that to DeMarco and his crew. This movie has a lot of action. A little subtle to say the least. But what the hey! 2 out of 5 stars
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The beginning of the end for Burt
mm-398 May 2003
When Burt's run finaly ended it was with this movie. The tough guy part did not sell well. This movie had no script, believability, or good characters. In the end, Burt did not evolve with the 80's. The 70's where his decade. It was time for Sly and Arnold. One can see the same events unfold with Arnold's last movie Colaterial Damage. It was time for somthing new. 4/10
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Burt's hot in this action film!
ary9 November 2000
Nick Scaliente (Reynolds) is a tough guy who is obsessed with gambling and lives a sleazy life in Las Vegas, working as a body guard. When his girl friend is beaten up by a spoiled rich kid, Nick decides to get even with the guys. This is a typical Burt Reynolds action flick of the mid eighties (like Stick and Malone), it isn't Burt's greatest film, but it isn't his worst (this `honor' goes to Crazy Six). The script was penned by legend William Goldman, so the story is interesting and sustains the attention during its whole running time, although I felt that the film could have been a little shorter. The action scenes are well-done, and I loved the final showdown between Burt and the mob guys, on the streets of Las Vegas. The photography accentuates the two sides of Las Vegas – the glamorous and the deadly and treacherous sides - the town never looked so bright and shining, kudos to the art director and photography .Burt gives as usual a terrific and powerful performance, how can you forget that brutal scene in which he goes to the spoiled kid's place,full of body guards, and beats them up to death. Cynic, charming but menacing, there are moments when Burt gives that hateful and resented look, you wonder if he is going to chop your head off in a second. Heat was originally intended to be directed by acclaimed director Robert Altman, but discussions with producer Elliot Kastner made him abandon the project, and that's a shame, because even without Altman, Heat is a decent thriller. With Altman as director, it could have been a lot better.
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A brilliant, nervous and tense ride, conducted by the legend Burt Reynolds
ary2 March 1999
"Heat" is an exceptional, vigorous and agile film, that counts with an efficient cast and a brilliant and structured story in a correct way. In this world where everybody looks for pleasures without limits, Nick Escaliente (magnificently interpreted by Burt Reynolds), a veteran combatant from Vietnam, specialist in martial arts, tries to win a lot of money in the casinos of Nevada. In his side, there are two inseparable friends, a boy (Peter MacNicol, also excellent and funny) and a prostitute. When his friend is murdered, Escaliente decides to show all his ferocity and his know-how in the martial arts, and to kill the mafioso ones. Reynolds is brilliant, and at the same time frightening as a man who carries inside of him a lot of hate and he riots and he is always ready to explode!the sequences where he avenges the friends' death and he beats to the end his enemies is of a violence and explicit plasticity. The director doesn't lose the control of the plot, and it drives the intrigue with a surgical precision, showing that the distance between the exaggerated violence and the happiness is short and fragile. I affirm that "Heat" is a "current" western, because the story happens in a dangerous and lawless Las Vegas, where the smallest negligence can mean the end!and "Heat" portrays this city with fidelity and professionalism, offering a plausible, pleasant and unforgettable show!this film really needs to be seen, appreciated and applauded!Burt Reynolds respects, as always, his fans, and he offers his more common acting: the solitary man, tough, charming, cynic and extremely lethal, who is always in the limit. The film seems to have been done in the measure for the star, and it still reaches its objective, guaranteed a hallucinating, explosive and touching day in Las Vegas!rent it, and you will understand why!!!
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I'm fluent in four languages......
FlashCallahan30 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Burt Reynolds plays the same character again in this typical Cannon eighties movie. His character needs to get 100k, so h can move to Venice, but first he must help MacNicol do other things than drink Perrier and be scared of betting money.

A girl he knows gets beat up, so he goes to the attackers dressed up in a smoking jacket, and fights them all in slow motion, using a medallion as a weapon.

But he struggles to make his money, as he's a compulsive gambler, and when he wins his 100k, he bets it away, because he wants more, and more.

But then he gets chased by some organised crime members, the ones who abused the girl from the first act. So Reynolds must act quick, before Statham remakes it in 2014...

I don't care what the film is, but any action movie made by Cannon in the eighties is worth watching. Brosnan owned the movies, American Ninja movies were watchable, and then we had prolific actors showing up in random movies (this, and 52 pick up).

This is no different, its cheaply made, focuses on Reynolds, and despite it being relatively action free, the two key action sequences are really well choreographed, and quite gruesome, which is pretty out there for a generic eighties movie.

Reynolds is good, and support is also good, but generic.

It won't change the way you see eighties movies, but its a little under seen treat I you come across it.

Plus its the best movie ever made featuring Reynolds jumping from a height and having a hissing sound effect while falls, and then fifteen minutes later sitting on a Gondola....
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"You'll help me get his nuts in my hands".
lost-in-limbo1 June 2013
I must get my hands on the UK DVD, because that tact on happy ending totally destroyed the impact of a certain sequence. But that's "Heat" for you, much unfocused in its interchangeable plot threads and fluctuating mood shifts from humour to seriousness. "Heat" might be considered as one of Burt Reynold's lesser achievements, when this once bankable star began the slide and the mid-80s showed it, but even though "Heat" does have its issues there are moments where a slumming Reyonlds does shine in what is an entertaining foray. Sure you might call it a loathsomely dry turn, but those looking for a toughie action piece like "Malone" would surely be disappointed in what is a glum (although there are charming slabs of humour) talky character piece dealing with our protagonist's lost ambitions and gambling addiction. Still this won't stop this character dreaming about escaping to Venice. That's what it becomes, despite the opportunities to fulfil it. Although it doesn't entirely scrap the violence, as it does pack a few, very brutal and nasty encounters where Reynold's ex-mercenary character goes on to show how lethal he is with credit cards?! It's a sight to behold. Actually the entire sequence was spectacularly done. Good use of slow motion too. Sometimes laughable, but downright creative especially when he takes out some goons in the film's intense climatic stages.

Loner ex-mercenary Nick Escalante hires himself out as a bodyguard / chaperone on the neon-lit streets of Las Vegas, but he actually dreams of a better life. But he's compulsion of working the casinos holds him back from that. But soon his life becomes a deadly gamble when he helps out his ex-girlfriend who turns up beaten, asking for help in getting revenge on her attacker - Danny DeMarco; son of a mobster. But in between that he finds himself chaperoning a meek businessman who simply wants to learn how to defend himself.

After a beginning which will have you scratching your head, "Heat" demonstrates plenty of these scenarios and wishy washy motivations. Eccentric characters come and go, with its tone somewhat jarring and it was hard to tell where it was heading. It can be a little more thoughtful, but the script can meander and there are slow parts. But saying that, I didn't find it boring and some are the dialogues are priceless. I found the interactions between Reynolds and MacNicol quite enjoyable too. The cast outside of Reynolds are quite capable with the likes of Peter MacNicol, Karen Yung, Howard Hessman, Diana Scarwid, Joseph Mascolo and Neill Barry perfectly pitching the despicably smarmy Danny.

Director Dick Richards' lean handling is workman-like without being particularly exciting and it breathes a sober, cheap made for TV quality. Some moments work, others feel awkward. Good use of the Las Vegas locations too and a real saucy vibe to the soundtrack works a treat.

Indistinguishable, but durable entertainment.
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Heat is not exactly a must see, but in the action sequences, we actually rewound a few parts!
tarbosh220007 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Nick "Mex" Escalante (Reynolds) is a Las Vegas-based gambler and bodyguard that kind of just drifts through life, going from adventure to adventure - whether it be getting revenge for the rape of his friend Holly (Young) or teaching new acquaintance Cyrus Kinnick (MacNicol) how to defend himself. He just wants to scrape together enough money to move to Venice, but all of his enemies, especially his latest one, Danny DeMarco (Barry) - want to prevent this from happening.

This was the beginning of Burt's "Not Caring" period. Probably due to circumstances in his personal life, what was probably perceived at the time as just a droll performance, is actually how Burt carried out most of his work from here on in. This movie not only has a slow pace and is talky when there should be action, it seems less like an action movie and more of a rambling drama. The fact that Robert Altman was originally slated to direct makes a lot of sense.

The few action scenes there are happen to be absolutely priceless - they're very funny. But their humor, whether intentional or not, does not match the tone of the rest of the film. In between the action bits, there are long stretches where, boringly, nothing really goes on. What a wasted opportunity. The DeMarco crime family should have sent more goons after Burt and he can dispatch them in his own inimitable way. But no, it's him and Peter MacNicol talking about life. Can't they do that on their own time? There isn't even one car chase for crying out loud.

On the positive side, there is a lot of pre-political correctness dialogue, and the soundtrack is drenched in classic sax (just like the Wings Hauser Las Vegas movie Living To Die, 1990). And, of course, Howard Hesseman is involved. And if you can't get enough of the magnetism of Burt Reynolds (not caring), Heat should satisfy that need. Keep in mind this was the BEGINNING of his Not Caring period. Compared to later outings, he still had a little bit of "care" left in him.

Heat is not exactly a must see, but in the action sequences, we actually rewound a few parts. So if you find it cheap somewhere (very cheap) get it. Otherwise, eh.

For more action insanity, please visit: comeuppancereviews.com
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Best Burt Reynolds Flick
dunsuls19 June 2002
I thought this was by FAR the best Burt Reynolds flick ever.Fine story of a degenerate gambling mob fringe dweller who might get a chance for redemption.Also note the brief appearance of retired Jets Sack exchange member Joe Klecko as a mob bodyguard. Not to be confused with Michael Mann's more famous "Heat"I thought this was a better film although their plots are different.These pictures are not linked at all.
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This movie should be available on DVD !!!
pkpk16 August 2004
Great movie I think. Simple and works great. This should be definitely released on DVD. Currently this movies not available anywhere. Why?

The movies shows how people with problems on gambling act. Movie is totally based on Burt part but he plays it well.

I recommend that you take a look at this movie and also vote that it should be released on DVD.

My score for the movie is 9

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pretty good
luigifan8830 June 2003
This movie was pretty good. He showed in this one like Sharky's Machine that he could be serious. It did show the true life of Vegas too. It had some good suspensfull moments in it too. The end I thought could've been a little better though. I thought that there'd be more to it since it was suspensfull but it ended quickly. It is a good movie though.
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Great Movie, I have watched it many times and will again.
tommac3024 November 1998
Burt Reynolds played a tough guy with a soft spot for his friends. Karen Young played a prostitute who I fell in love with, and Peter MacNicol was so good that I looked forward to seeing him again in something else. The plot with its interesting twists and turns was fabulous. The acting was superb. One of my all time favorites.
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The showgirls have moustaches and the waitresses can rip the phone book in half!
Spikeopath29 September 2018
This Burt Reynolds starrer had a very troubled production, with punches thrown and inevitable walk outs, it's no surprise to find this is hardly a great film. However, it's not as some would have you believe, a chaotic turd either.

The password is later!

Plot has Reynolds as Nick Escalante, he's an ex-mercenary working out of Las Vegas as a bodyguard for hire - amongst other things. When a lady of the night who he has paternal regard for is brutally beaten and sexually dehumanised, it brings Nick into conflict with a young gangster pretender with organised crime connections. All this as Nick battles his gambling addiction whilst trying to achieve his goal of moving to Venice, Italy, for his five year plan.

You're a peach of a guy. You're "A" number one. You're a swell fella.

Adapted by William Goldman from his own novel of the same name, Heat often threatens to be a very good picture. The characterisations are rich and interesting, the setting ripe for dark deeds and dream shattering, and Reynolds is in fine form. Reynolds was still a star, even if the films he was starting to make in the 80s didn't come close to matching his status. He is badly let down by some very creaky and daft action sequences here, why the director (Dick Richards/Jerry Jameson) didn't just do real time man to man combat is as mysterious as the resultant offering is daft.

I made $7 million dollars on my 28th birthday. Don't call me kid.

Whilst the screenplay lacks action (do not enter this one expecting an action fest), the script does have some weighty merit where Nick's interactions with others is concerned, none more so than with Peter MacNicol's (superb) Cyrus Kinnick. He's afraid of being afraid, enlisting Nick to give him a crash course in bravery. They are an odd pairing, but crucial to each other, they give the film its deft slices of humour, and simultaneously holding the key as to why Heat is not a bad film at all.

Michael Gibbs layers some smart sultry jazz music over proceedings, befitting the Vegas setting, while James Contner's cinematography is also tonally compliant to the sort of desperation feeling permeating the plot. Howard Hesseman and Diana Scarwid aren't given enough time to impact greatly, but at least Karen Young as Holly (lady of the night) strikes the right chords. Unfortunately Neill Barry as chief villain Danny DeMarco is implausibly poor and irritating into the bargain.

Enjoyment of Heat possibly hangs on if you happen to be a Reynolds fan, to get entertainment from watching him hold court. Viewed as a strong character piece with Reynolds front and center it passes muster, but if looking for something more then you could end up - like many already have- disappointed. 7/10
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Burt on a Trampoline!
shaft219 January 2007
This movie needs to be watched for only a handful of reasons.

One, it'll completely revolutionize the way you think about how Burt Reynolds can jump. Sure, it's a pretty lousy stunt double for most of the scenes, and Burt is as oily and haggard as he ever was in the 80s, but he has some ridiculous fight scenes where he inexplicable can jump 12 feet in the f**king air. It's incredible.

Also, the ending is so void of substance, that you'll question your own appreciation of time, and ask yourself, "why in the hell did I just watch this." You'll then become a better person and get more out of life.

Watch with caution, and every time Burt slugs someone or jumpkicks the hell outta them or throws medallions at their face, yell "HEAT!" at the t.v. It's the only way to go, and you'll feel much better.
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the beginning of the end for Burt
duke190713 March 2006
Burt Reynolds had made bad films before this one, but he was always able to bounce back with films like Sharkey's Machine (1981) or City Heat (1984), but there was no recovering from this turkey. It took Burt all the way to 1997's Boogie Nights to make a decent film. This film has all of the usual elements, but just not put together correctly. Wayne had Ford and De Niro had Scorsese I guess Burt couldn't make a decent film without Hal Needham. If Hal would have done this he could have at least made the action scenes exciting and Burt could concentrate on being Burt. So if Burt makes a good movie every ten years we should see one pretty soon. Not a Dukes of Hazzard or The Longest Yard, but a real Burt Reynolds movie. One bad thing is the Burt I know would wear a toupee, but would never have undergone that wretched plastic surgery(Clint didn't need one). Come on Hal,if you're still kicking get together and bring back the good ol' Burt Reynolds.
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A rarity, better than the book
mingo-213 November 2000
This movie has a nice clean story with the right mix of action and talk. It gives as my fellow reviewer mentioned, a realistic view of gambling. It also does something very rare in movies, it improves on the book. In the book Peter MacNichol's geeky little nerd is not just a geek but a female to male transsexual. This is unnecessary and unbelievable. The film keeps out muddy plot twists and is much better for it.
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It's hard to describe how appallingly bad this film is
clownboy5 January 1999
I was subjected to this hideous mess of a film when my sister accidentally grabbed it off the video shelf instead of the Michael Mann film of the same name. Pray you never make the same mistake. The direction is ham-handed, the script ridiculous, the characters and their motivations laughable, the acting disastrous, and two thirds of the way through the film, just when you think your suffering might be over, it seems to become a different movie! Burt Reynolds' tough guy is a cardboard cutout of the tired "dangerous man with a troubled past and a heart of gold" character we've all seen 100 times too many. Peter MacNicol as the nebbish who idolizes him is not just unsympathetic, but actually so irritating I laughed out loud when he was machine-gunned by the bad guys. Neill Barry is absurd as the childish gangster who seems to think shrieking and whining make him a more intimidating figure. Pretentious, self conscious, and filled with cartoonish intensity, this film is excruciating from start to finish. Good for Mystery Science Theater style mockery only.
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No. Just no.
coex2311 March 2018
The first ten minutes sets Burt up as a completely unlikable and creepy sexist jerk. However, as it turns out, that was just a trick he's pulling on someone. So you finally breathe a sigh of relief thinking "ok, Burt's not really a jerk." But then the rest of the film starts... and he's still kind of an unlikable jerk. Why am I watching this?

From here, the story is all over the place; and Burt's character is sometimes likable, but often not. Really assembled in the most ham-fisted way, and not terribly enjoyable.

I try really hard to finish every film I start, but I couldn't get past the halfway point with this one. I tried, really! I wanted to turn it off way earlier, too! I think Burt's an underrated actor and can pull out some really good films, but this isn't one of them.
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