This dvd is the first zone 1 dvd I've bought cause I just couldn't wait for the zone 2 one to be released
It is my absolute favourite movie in the "cops/thieves" genre. How could it have been else with such a casting with at the first rank none the less than Robert de Niro and Al Pacino. It was indeed one of the most awaited face to face ever (they had both played in The Godfather saga but never had been face to face).
The casting is also reinforced with other talented actors like Val Kilmer, John Voigt, Tom Sizemore, young Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd ... all playing brillantly and serving this masterpiece written, produced and directed by Michael Man.
As the sentence on the movie poster tells you, this story takes place in Los Angeles where Police Lieutenant Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) is hunting a thieves gang lead by Neil McCauley (Robert de Niro).
The originality of the movie is that the spectator follows both characters stories which, of course, happen to meet.
So on one hand we see Vincent Hanna as a top cop but we discover his job requires him to be always on the razor edge between "efficient anger" and depression. He has also to deal with personnal matters as his mood makes the life impossible for the woman he lives with and her daughter.
On the other hand we see Neil McCauley who is a real professional thief, who does not hesitate to kill if he has to. He won't like it but he'll do it if he has to. He exposes a strong face and try to stand by a quote he has learned in jail :
But he discovers it's not that easy as some of his "work mates" are now close friends, his family. He is the only single in his gang where all the other members have a family life. That makes him wonder about the possibility of a serious relationship with a woman he has encountered." you wanna be making moves on the streets, have no attachments, allow nothing to be in your life that you cannot walk out on in thirty seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."
These personnal stories make the characters a lot more credible and also likeable. In fact there is no really bad guy in this movie, only one: Waingro (Kevin Gage) who is a murderer. The others, thieves or cops are just "doing their job". The fact is indeed that they both don't care much about what his outside their work, about the collateral damages...
And it's true that HEAT has especially earned a place in memories because of the action scenes with at the first place, the most amazing (heavy)gun fight in a civilian environnment ever seen.
In theater or at home with the appropriate equipment, this scene really makes you riveted on your chair. The music turns off and you only hear the guns firing everywhere.
You get totally involved in this scene as you've been driven to care about both sides.
That's I think the tour de force of this movie which makes you follow the two sides and gets you attached to the characters.
For example: [SPOILER] the spectator is as surprised as Hanna when he learns all the thieves have disapeared from the cops' surveillance. We've get so used to know things before the cops that we are surprised the thieves tricked us too [/SPOILER]
This movie had a budget of $60 million, and ended up grossing over $170 million. It had not met a great success, especially in United-States as $107 million of the box office revenues came from non-US audiences.
I'm glad to add the movie was particularly successful in France, where 1.3 million tickets were sold. :D
It has been reproached to that movie that it has too much discussion and not enough action. I can understand as the movie takes indeed a little bit more than 3 hours and a least part of this time is dedicated to action but ... watch what actions scenes we are talking about !! 8)
This movie is from 1995 and I think most of you have seen it already. If not ... RUN TO WATCH IT !!! :bounce:
For me, this movie is a master piece and I don't see which other mark I can give other than 6/6
For the fans around here, I've found a very interresting analysis of the movie : HERE 8-)
Now I'm waiting with most anticipation Collateral :D