Red Heat


If you’re familiar with my reviews, you know that I dig macho action movies, especially the ones from the 80s. This one is no exception. You’ve got all the clich├ęs, and they’re executed with style; not as well as in “Commando, but still pretty well. The opening scene is probably the best one. A Russian cop, Ivan Danko, is talking with tough guys in a sauna. Everyone is butt naked, muscular and sweaty. The bad guys force Danko to grab a hot piece of coal. That kinda pisses him off, and he starts a fight. Before long, he’s fist fighting in the snow, still bare assed! What a cool scene! The film then gets more conventional. Danko’s partner gets killed by his nemesis, the evil Viktor Rostavili, a dope dealer who soon flees to America. Danko follows him to Chicago, where he has to work with a slobby cop, Art Ridzik. That’s when the film turns into an archetypal yet fun buddy cop comedy. Viktor is putting on a huge drug deal with some black gangsters, and the duo will do anything to stop the operation. They get into various fights, brutal witness interrogations, violent shoot-outs and chases.

The action scenes are not original but they’re done with professionalism. There’s a very cool chase between two big ass buses that turns into a chicken game. Walter Hill’s direction’s real cool, and the photography is beautiful. The film is also pretty funny. The leads are great. Danko is played by the unique Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s a tough, serious and cold-blooded cop who won’t stop until the case is closed. He’s hilariously straight, always talking in monosyllables. James Belushi is also fun as the partner, the exact opposite of Danko. The film also features the excellent Larry Fishburne and Gina Gershon in small roles. This film ain’t a masterpiece, but it’s a fine piece of entertainment. I enjoyed it, you might as well do.