Red Heat

1988, Movie, R, 103 mins


RED HEAT opens in Moscow (where, for the first time, an American production was allowed to film in Red Square) as dedicated police captain Ivan Danko (Arnold Schwarzenegger) tracks down drug kingpin Viktor Rostavili (Ed O'Ross). After a vicious shootout in a bar, the drug dealer flees to the US and sets up operations in Chicago. The Soviets send Danko to get him, and two Chicago detectives, Ridzik and Gallagher (James Belushi and Richard Bright), are assigned to work with the Russian. Over the course of several violent run-ins with both Rostavili and his American drug partners, Danko and Ridzik overcome their initial suspicions of each other and develop a mutual professional respect. The many layers of subtext and shadings of character found in RED HEAT are practically nonexistent in most action films produced today. Unfortunately, director Walter Hill has allowed the action scenes to become absurd and cartoonish. On the other hand, Hill has gotten Schwarzenegger to give one of the best performances of his career, and Belushi too is thoroughly convincing as an action hero. Although the project is not as visionary or personal as Hill's best work (HARD TIMES; THE DRIVER; THE WARRIORS; SOUTHERN COMFORT), RED HEAT is a welcome break from the shallow shoot-'em-ups that became the standard in the 1980s. leave a comment

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Red Heat (1985)
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