This is the film where Michael Mann’s themes and ideas meshed perfectly with story and cast. Existentialism, professionalism, the difference (and lack thereof) between criminals and cops, night skylines, and masculinity – all wrapped into one 3-hour crime saga. Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are on board, both giving two of their last powerhouse performances, picking the right film to go out on.
There’s no digging through dialogue to search for meaning. Everything is explicit. Fatalism eats around the corners of every scene, and Heat‘s blood runs noir, particularly highlighted in the breathtaking finale. Characters are ice cold, spitting inhuman dialogue and monologues, full of existential angst but the cast brings it all to the forefront. Even with its massive, grand, operatic stature Heat is perhaps Mann’s most humane film, and it is certainly his masterpiece.
No long review is necessary. Rarely (very rarely) have brains met brawn with such blistering results. Heat is one of the greatest crime films of all-time.