Heat (1995)

Rewatching for my The Complete Pacino list.

In the DVD extras we learn that Michael Mann and Al Pacino decided that Pacino’s character, Vincent Hanna, should dabble in cocaine once in a while. This would result in him being a little over the top on occasion. But by not putting any evidence of this in the actual film, when Pacino blows up, it’s the real beginning of shouty Al that I’ve been looking out for.

The story of crook McCauley (Robert De Niro) and cop Hanna (Pacino) is a completely gripping one, and the reknowned exchange across the table is legendary. The action scenes are tremendous and the night-time cinematography unparalleled. What I forget everytime though is that the reason I can’t give this 5 stars is because the female characters are so terribly written. I simply can’t fathom how Amy Brenneman’s Eady so readily agrees to give up everything on just her second meeting with McCauley. Nothing suggests that’s a suitable next step for her. And Hanna’s wife Justine (Diane Venora) is given such terrible lines to deliver that the dialogue almost grinds to a halt while she’s trying to spit them out. It makes her look like a terrible actress, which I’m sure she isn’t.

Had also forgotten a teenage Natalie Portman as the stepdaughter.


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