This epic crime thriller, starring Robert De Niro as a master criminal and Al Pacino as the LA cop who's after him, is top-notch. Featuring one of the best-ever running battles in downtown LA, it's a tour-de-force for both actors, and was the first time (apart from The Godfather Part II, although they never shared a scene) that they both appeared on screen together.
And it's an electric moment when they meet briefly in a restaurant. "A guy told me one time, don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds' flat if you feel the heat around the corner," says De Niro, in one of the movie's seminal scenes.
Based on a real cop and criminal who were adversaries in Chicago in the 1960s, the villains are led by Neil McCauley (De Niro), whose crew includes Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer), Michael Cheritto (Tom Sizemore) and Trejo (Danny Trejo). Their planned armed robbery of a security van goes well until a new recruit to the gang, Waingro (Kevin Gage), shoots a guard and flees.
Homicide cop Vincent Hanna (Pacino) is assigned to the case, and starts to investigate the gang, piecing together the few shreds of evidence. Hanna begins to recognise similarities between his nemesis and himself. They're both driven men, single-minded and dedicated to their respective jobs.
Hanna's third marriage - to Justine (Diane Venora) - is on the verge of collapse, while McCauley is telling his latest girlfriend, Eady (Amy Brenneman), that he's a salesman. The scene is set for a breathtaking final confrontation in which only one of the adversaries will survive...
Michael Mann took 15 years to write Heat and filmed it after completing The Last of the Mohicans. With nearly 70 speaking parts, 85 different locations and running for 171 minutes, it's definitely not your archetypal cops and robbers movie. Highly recommended.