This was a realistic crime drama with an all star cast from writer/director Michael Mann.
After some cops are unintentionally killed in an armored truck robbery, crime ring leader Neil McCauly (Robert Deniro) ousts a member from the ring, and soon discovers that his escape was a bad thing, as Detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) picks up the pieces and pursues the criminal ring across L.A. on surveillance missions and sting operations to take them down while the crooks plan a bank heist. Meanwhile, McCauly tries to determine if it's worth going for with the heat of the police force on their tail all the time; his right hand man Chris (Val Kilmer) tries to determine if it's worth straining his relationship over, and Detective Hanna tries to determine if they're worth chasing with his heated third marriage getting worse by the day.
Co-starring Tom Sizemore, Danny Trejo, Mykelti Willamson, Ted Levine, Jon Voight, Dennis Haysbert, William Fictner, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman, Jeremy Piven, Diane Fenora, Amy Brenneman, Wes Studi, and Xander Berkely, "HEAT" proves to be the best film from Michael Mann, with one of the best ensemble casts in a crime drama, and the best film of that genre from the '90s.
The visuals and score match the film perfectly! Fast paced music and cut to cut shots, and slow pans and slow paced music when needed make the film work out nicely for the genre.
The opening of the film is aggressive, and is similar to such upcoming films like "TDK," as many inspirations for that film came from this one.
(Even William Fictner's role here was copied over into the first scene of "TDK.")-(and the hockey masks and jumpsuits of the crooks in the opening robbery inspired the same look for Joker's goons in the party crashing scene depicted in the trailer for "TDK.")-(and the civilians of the film also reflect those in "TDK," as Christopher Nolan drew upon many elements in this film for it.)
The climax maintains the realism, in that it's not a total shoot 'em up, bang bang, explosive type of climax, but fits the story well.
While it clocks in at 165 minutes, the film has great performances from the two leads, and all of the supporting actors which makes this both worth the long runtime, and a memorable film.
An original piece overall that is worthy of a position among the top four crime dramas in history.