Heat 1995 ★★★★½

It will continue to age gracefully, especially in this modern action age we're in (It took till this viewing to realize how much Dark Knight truly steals).

I have to take off a half star though because of the last shot. There's a cathartic payoff their that does not connect with me. I love this movie for the systematic and methodical world building and the detailed lifestyles of high-stakes badasses and what it's like to fit into their shoes and witness their priorities along with the adrenaline around every corner. I ultimately cannot make the leap of faith as to what the last shot sums up for what these characters go through other than they are always one-step ahead of the game and understand each other that way. That's not enough for me to justify the end. Maybe someone can enlighten me? I didn't get a satisfying answer in the diner scene where they just spew the obvious about how they won't think twice when they see the heat. De Niro repeats himself here.

Still, I will not say it's "style over substance", because what the hell does that mean. The style IS the movie. It engulfs you and 3 hours flies by.

Also one of the greatest ensembles ever assembled. Literally over 20 noteworthy faces, some only with 3 minutes of screen time. Needed more Waingro.

12 Comments

  • I agree. This movie does not rely on emotion much at all. Instead, it's like watching a well-oiled machine run efficiently.

  • You could say Public Enemies is a pale retread of this failing in both character and style.

  • I love this film. I have WAY to many movies to rewatch.

  • Public Enemies was boring and trite, with a very poor script. So many elementary errors, you could almost mistake it for a chris nolan film.

  • We can agree on Enemies, but not on Nolan, no sir.

  • Not nolan himself, but the fact that his movies have so many screenwriting flubs, it's nearly comical. Inception, regardless of the brilliant concept, is nearly as bad as most of the amateur scripts I've covered while reading for contests.

  • Nolan has yet to prove he can competently shoot action scenes (the snow-level fight choreography in Inception is atrocious and loooong) but I don't see the screenwriting flubs that you do? How does it not come together?

  • It's a whole lot more than the story coming together. It's all the simple things that he never gets right. Like dialogue. The exposition in Inception is cringe-worthy. I've read the actual script. Ariadne pretty much does nothing but ask questions in the most boring, matter-of-fact way possible. It's never dramatized. But there are larger problems, as well, like the complete lack of integration of the hero's internal and external conflicts, the low stakes of one business trumping another, the utter absence of character development, etc. I can go on and on and on and on and on, and I can do so with TDK, as well. So many things wrong with that movie, I'm amazed that he got anything right. Same with Batman Begins. Same thing with The Prestige. Even Memento has the extraneous Dodd sequence that adds nothing to the story and impacts the hero's goal in no way whatsoever.

    The guy cannot write. Period. He can assemble great actors, come up with some nice concepts, and make the pictures look pretty, but he absolutely cannot write a tight, cohesive/coherent script.

  • Well, I have to completely disagree. I never got the internal conflicts of most of the characters in Heat either (mainly De Niro), but it doesn't make or break the movie for me. Film is a visual medium first, and Inception has it in spades. And did I mention the score. Talk about propelling the story forward. Haha. I understand your frustration though, especially when his films are as gushed over as they are. And like Heat, I just enjoy seeing a large ensemble cast operating with each other.

    And that Marion Colltiard. There's your 5/5 alone.

  • Cotillard was actually one of the biggest problems with the film. See, Leo sees her in his dreams...but nobody else does. Nobody else is threatened by her in any way whatsoever, which makes her a rather passive antagonist. Leo decides he has to do this mission to see his kids, but his direct involvement in the mission itself is so minimal, he almost wasn't even necessary. He could/should have been combined with JGL's character into one guy, so he would actually have something to do inside the dream other than pretend to be Mr. Charlie for all of 2 minutes. You have to integrate the internal and external conflicts. Sure, we weren't let in on what was going on inside Deniro's head in Heat, but in Inception, we were. And when you introduce something like that into the story, you need to exploit it as much as possible. Inception tried to do that, but did it in the wrong way.

    I think it would have been infinitely more interesting if helping Saito spelled disaster for someone close to Leo, or to Leo himself in a different way, kind of like a Sophie's Choice thing where he can either have his kids OR have this other terrible thing not happen...ANYTHING would have worked better to really play off of the internal conflict of the hero and make the mission actually *mean* something instead of just being a means to an end. An energy contract? That means nothing to anyone, not even the hero??? Poor. Just plain poor.

    I'll stop now. But I did like the music very much. I own the soundtrack. I own the movie on blu-ray, DVD, and I have a copy of the shooting script. So it's not like I hate the movie. I just hate that people can't see why it's not that good.

    Maybe people just don't care about screenwriting anymore.

  • I actually agree with a lot of your points in terms of plot, it's just everything else overwhelms my senses that it's not a problem when I watch it. I could pick apart these issues, but it negates how much fun the sci-fi aspects are for me! That's the draw at least.

    What I did mean is that Colltiard is beyond beauty. The camera is absolutely in love with her.

  • So am I! lol

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