A Heat (1995) Question
The critical party line on Heat is that its one of the best movies of 1995, maybe one of the best of the entire decade, and certainly one of the greatest cop movies ever made. IMDb has it ranked on its list of the Top 50 Crime Films ever made and on its list of the Top 250 Movies of all-time as well. I've had trouble seeing it that way and lord knows I've tried this is the sort of movie I should love, don't you think? Two previous viewings, though, never did it for me. I've just had a third.
I now see the movie as a great Robert De Niro performance maybe the last truly great Robert De Niro performance we've gotten alongside a truly bizarre and I'd say not particularly successful Al Pacino performance. I know some people love the movie and love him in it. Frankly, I think some scenes are hilarious. But they're utterly distracting to the movie. Consider these two scenes from the film, one with De Niro and his crew which is pure menace and one with Pacino and his which is pure lunacy:
I put forth a challenge to the Heat lovers out there: Defend that Pacino scene and the numerous other ones in the movie where he acts like a lunatic. I have read plenty of defenses of the movie, many of them quite persuasive, on the grounds of its treatment of cop and criminal as equals and as professionals or for its authentic underworld flavor and so on. But I've yet to have someone convince me that Pacino's performance in this movie works. Yes it's funny. Yes I love imitating it. But why does it work?