Milez Das’s review published on Letterboxd:
Two professionals seat across from each other at a coffee place. They bond over their personal problems. Vincent talking about his marriage failures due to work and his stepdaughter. Neil talks about his alone life and not getting attached to someone you are not willing to walk out in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.
Who are they? One is a cop and other criminal. They chase each other like a cat chases a rat. They both are committed to their work and they are best at what they do. They finish their conversation by reaffirming their commitment to their work and to using lethal force if necessary to stop the other.
Heat opens with a robbery, lead by Neil and his crew existing Chris, Michael, Trejo and a new guy Waingro. Everything goes right until it all turns into a homicide which makes LAPD Lieutenant Vincent Hanna to step in and work on the case.
Neil is professional, he plans everything and goes step by step with a care. He outsmarts the cops at each turn, but he a man with means. As he falls for Eady , he gets a job where the risk is worth the stretch.
Vincent Hanna is someone who don't want on your back as he will not stop until he captures you. He is what you call a workaholic man, dedicated every part of his to job.
Written and Directed by Michael Mann, he sets up a game between the oldest rivals in this world. A Cop and The Thief. He plays each characters to its means. I love the scene where Neil and his gang are out having dinner and everyone except him has a girl of their own with family as he looks around his empty seat feeling lonely for the first time as he exits to call Eady.
Heat consists not only the chase between these two professions but the lives they lead personally. Chris personal life is not going well as he looses his money to gambling as his wife detests him for it. But his love for her and finally looking for that big score and ending it makes his character more real.
Heat consists of a tense score breathing down by Elliot Goldenthal. You as a viewer are into every situation chasing these characters but at the same time you yourself are into a worry for everyone involved.
The bank robbery scene is efficiently executed as the bullets starts to hover around from both sides, losing men while they are at it. Mann executes every conversation perfectly and every situation to its tests. He wants every character to feel real to its viewer, that there is meaning at what they do. For Vincent and Neil that is what they have been doing almost all their lives without breaking any sweat.
The final act of this movie is set to perfection, finally the chase coming to an end.
Al Pacino as Lt. Vincent Hanna is incredible in his role. He gets into the skin of his character to perfection. His dynamic with De Niro is just electric and generates the heat necessary. But the scene I love the most is when Hanna takes his stepdaughter to the hospital as you can see his other side.
Robert De Niro as Neil McCauley gives one great and stylish performance. He is smart, he is cool, he is dangerous and can kill without any flinch. His character is something that drifts through places after places and loves to be alone.
In Supporting Val Kilmer as Chris gives reality check to his character who is broken and in love. Jon Voight as Nate and Tom Sizemore as Michael are good in their roles living an impact through the end.
When it comes to Crime thrillers, Michael Mann is one the best filmmakers around. He creates scenes with such simplicity. The famous coffee shop scene is shot so simple but creates an big impact on the viewers. Yes, it is great because of DeNiro and Pacino facing each other but it also has to be executed perfectly with meaning for their characters. Mann mainly uses shoulder shots and close ups in the scene.
Heat is one of the best movies ever made. It has two giants in a frame together. It sets in the blur light of the city that dispersers in the morning as the crime levels up. It has its beauty not only with the cat and mouse game it plays but how it tackles the personal lives of the characters. It is a thumping ride that lives you breathless as you reach the end.
Neil McCauley: Told you I'm never going back...
Vincent Hanna: Yeah.