HEAT is an epic crime thriller with a real sense of place (sun drenched LA atmosphere). There is true momentum in Mann’s editing and visual direction. It is also well written and full of great character moments which reveal a true depth. De Niro and Pacino are two sides of the same coin - both obsessed with their work and unable to do anything else. Their genuine respect for each other elevates the material.
Rewatching this movie again since... 10 years ago, I guess. HEAT is still an astonishing movie from director Michael Mann. It's his best work, though not my favorite. I came up with a new perspective about this movie. IMO, the true point of HEAT lies in that scene where Al Pacino and Robert De Niro met for the first time. It explained the real relationship between a cop and a bad guy and how they completed each other
Pacino and De Niro's entanglement here is one for the ages, the perfect duel of ideals and beliefs, not because they're opposites of one another, but because each mirrors the other perfectly, the razor-fine line of reflection separating them into the two sides of the moral coin. And when tossed, only one will come out on top, crushing the other right into the bones and dirt of the dying world.
Pacino & De Niro coming face-to-face is like a collision of 2 supernovas releasing a burst of raw talent that I can re-watch over and over again. Stellar score. Neil's struggling commitment to nihilism rather than returning to "regular life" is an ongoing theme that keeps the story spicy. As Vincent remarks to his wife: "All I am is what I am going after." Several Pacino outbursts keeps the movie comedic.