Critic Reviews



Based on 13 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The film is punctuated by violence, a great deal of violence, although most of it is exaggerated comic-book style instead of being truly gruesome. Walking that fine line is a speciality of Hill, who once simulated the sound of a fist on a chin by making tape recordings of Ping-Pong paddles slapping leather sofas.
Hill has gotten Schwarzenegger to give one of the best performances of his career, and Belushi too is thoroughly convincing as an action hero. RED HEAT is a welcome break from the shallow shoot-'em-ups that became the standard in the 1980s.
Chicago Tribune
The world of his films may be violent, but Hill's vision is a delicate, subtle one-of individuals packing away the tiny bit of meaning and emotion life has granted them, and fighting to protect it at all costs. It's not a sentiment that can survive in cartoons; that it emerges at all in Red Heat is a tribute to Hill's still great talent. [17 Jun 1988, p.A]
Schwarzenegger, who when he dons a green suit is dubbed 'Gumby' by Belushi, is right on target with his characterization of the iron-willed soldier, and Belushi proves a quicksilver foil.
Chicago Reader
Thanks to a fairly good script, this thriller about a Soviet cop sent to Chicago to apprehend a Soviet drug dealer is a respectable enough star vehicle.
Los Angeles Times
Red Heat is directed in a fiery, muscular, pop-graphic style. And it has a James Horner score that puckishly mixes Prokofiev and rhythm and blues. But it's also a movie with a cramped interior. The action scenes seem to be squeezing out everything else, pressing the characters against the wall. [17 Jun 1988, p.1]
Boston Globe
There's always something touching about the diligence with which Schwarzenegger soldiers through his assignments. There's a play of intelligence and decency in his eyes that exists quite independently of his bashing. Of the Hollywood tribe of virile fists, he's the one who seems most sensitive. [17 Jun 1988, p.31]
San Francisco Chronicle
Red Heat, the new Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie, avoids most of the usual action-movie gimmicks and is better for it. It co-stars Jim Belushi and opens around town today. [17 Jun 1988, p.E1]
The New York Times
Red Heat is a topically entertaining variation on the sort of action-adventure nonsense that plays best on television. Mr. Hill's touch is heavy when he takes himself seriously. However, he has a real gift for instantly disposable fantasy.
Red Heat is poorly, or even indifferently, made. It's a joyless exercise, and too much angry resignation seeps in for it to be very funny or very entertaining.

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