heatI offer my apologies to all the Michael Mann fans out there. This is a really unexceptional film.

“What?” you shout. “It has Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in it! And they’re in the same scene together (which never happened in The Godfather II).”

To which I respond, “Whatever.” The film is about a career criminal (De Niro) who has a big score coming up. (I seem to remember it being “the last big score”, a cliche I really hate, but maybe I’m remembering that wrong. It’s not a memorable film either.) Pacino is the veteran cop who plans to bring De Niro down. And the little scene where the two face off in a diner is, no doubt, the best thing in the film. The endless drama behind these two characters (something with Val Kilmer and Natalie Portman and what not) is not nearly as interesting.

I’ve also been told that the firefight in the street after the robbery is cinema gold. Well, there are lots of gun shots… and it’s really loud. And, for all I know about warfare, it’s got verisimilitude in spades. But exciting it wasn’t.

At 170 minutes, the pacing was not brisk. I can’t fault the performances, but while they weren’t bad, they weren’t interesting or resonant either. The main thing I remember about the film was the fact that it had both actors who played bad guys in The Silence of the Lambs and Manhunter.

Al Pacino was in Heat with Dennis Haysbert. Dennis Haysbert was in…


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