I had fond memories of “Heat”. I’m still too young when I saw it for the first time, back in 1996, and I had seen the film without any subtitles, added to the fact that I have yet developed a deeper affection toward films as half as I have right now but I was drawn to it nonetheless.
It wasn’t until years later when I saw the film again, and again, and yet again, when I started to more appreciated the film and even named it as one of the films that brought a huge influence to me. One scene from that film is particularly stand out, and it never failed to give me goosebumps all over when I see it again. It was the scene where Al Pacino and Robert De Niro met for the first time in a coffee shop.
Naturally, I took a liberty to assume that if these two great actors could generate such excitement, such ecstasy in a matter of minutes they were paired together on screen, what would happened when they were paired for the whole duration of a film? I had naively assumed that I would fainted with a smile on my face. Well, I just got home from “Righteous Kill” and I can’t wait to see “Heat” again on my XBox just to made sure that I’m going to bed with a memory of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino carefully sipping their coffees, rather than them walking around with a bored look on their faces while trying to catch a serial-killer who had a penchant to poetry.
“Righteous Kill” puts Pacino and De Niro as Detectives, a partners, and an ancient one at that. So very typical, I mean, how many times do we see Pacino or De Niro as cops, anyway? Frankly, I’ve lost count. Anyway, as Detectives who had serves the justice for thirty years or so, it would seems to me that the film tried to tell us that they’re bad-ass cops with a Dirty Harry shoot-first ask-later attitude in abundance but truth be told, I’m kinda confused about the film’s overall direction.
The film begins with a footage, a confession of sort from one of the character that said that he had killed 14 people and gradually the film begins to reveal what was the kill is all about and why does it made a lot of fuss among the corps and what does it has to do with a recent serial-killing events that took place in the city. The film tries so hard to be complicated, it was anything but. It obviously tried to obscure the real plot element, by throwing quite a few red herrings. But of course, if you’re an experienced movie-goer, too many red herrings usually led you right to the correct conclusion long before the film intended to reveal it. And that was the case with “Righteous Kill.”
Al Pacino and Robert De Niro were obviously great actors. Or at the very least, easily noticeable ones. But as all things go, they had had their moments years ago, and if Michael Mann could put their respective star power into a magnificent film thirteen years ago, a guy like Jon Avnet should’ve done this film twenty years ago and given his recent resume, even if he did, it won’t work.
My rating: *1/2 / **** I had a serious thought that both De Niro and Pacino are getting lazy or this economic downturn has gotten into them by accepting roles that shouldn’t even be considered to take in the first place. I was disappointed and I sorely missed Al Pacino’s energy and Robert De Niro’s smug sneering which largely even totally absent from this film.