My score: 7 (out of 10)
Red Heat (1988)
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My score: 7 (out of 10)
We get to see Moscow police captain Ivan Danko, Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger, flex his bulging muscles when he goes into a bath-house looking for a gang of Georgain drug dealers. In no time at all Danko turns he entire place into a wild and crazy free for all taking out a number of muscle men, in and out of he bath-house. Danko gets the information that he was looking for on where the gang leader Victor Rosta, Ed O'Ross,is to be found; in the Durzhba Café in the little Georgia section of Moscow.
Later Danko and his partner Yuri Ogarkov,Oleg Vidov, confronts the Georgian drug dealers and their boss Rosta where there a a wild shootout where Yuri is killed and Rosta and a number of is gang escapes. It's later when the Moscow PD gets the news that Rosta was arrested, for a minor traffic violation, in of all places Chicago that Danko is sent to the United States to expedite him back to the Soviet Union. Danko is told by his superiors not to mentions a word to the US and Chicago law enforcement officials to what Rosta is wanted for. The Soviet leaders don't want it to get out that they, like the US, have a serious and home grown drug problem.
Danko looking stiff an a bit uncomfortable at the Chicago O'Hare Airport is assigned Chicago Det. Art Ridzik, James Belushi,to show him around the city until he finally gets all the papers in order to take Rosta back to the USSR. Everything goes according to plan until Rosta is rescued, with Danko almost losing his life in the shooting, by this notorious black Chicago drug gang called the Shaveheads whom Rosta was working with. The movie then really starts to pick up with Danko now not only in trouble with the Chicago PD, for his very un-Maranda-like police tactics, but also with his Soviet police superiors for letting Rosta get away.
Top rate police action thriller with Danko and Ridzik turning the city of Chicago upside down in trying to find the fugitive Rosta who's involved in a major drug deal, with the Shaveheads, that's about to go down at a city bus depot. Danko shows that he's as mentally smart as he's physically powerful by him figuring out what Rosta & Co are up to by renting Rosta's former hotel room #302, knowing that he left evidence of his drug dealings there. Danko wisely putting down on the hotel register a wrong number #303 to trick Rosa and his boys who later blast into room #303 thinking that Danko was there and ending up getting wasted by him in the resulting shootout.
Rosta turns out to be as ruthless and deceptive as he ever was back in the Soviet Union. Double-crossing his allies the Shaveheads by taking the money he was to give them for the drugs that they were to supply him with. Rosta even having his American wife, that he paid $10,000.00 to marry him so he can be a US citizen, part-time aerobics instructor and full-time hooker Cat Manzetti, Gina Gershon, murdered together with one of his Georgian Confederates after he felt that they were no longer of any use to him.
Danko now completely out of control with Det. Ridzik now fully supporting him, Ridzik by now saw that Danko's way of doing things was far better then that of the Chicago PD, has it out with Rosta in a mad and dangerous bus chase and demolition derby game. This wild and insane action almost causes as much damage to the city of Chicago as the great fire of 1871 did with Rosta finally being put down and out in a "High Noon" western style shootout.
Just as good, if not better, as most of Arnold's more popular films it's in "Red Heat" that he finally puts it all together not just in the actions sequences but in his comical interacting with his American police partner James Belushi playing Det. Ridzik. With all the shooting and destruction over and Danko about to fly back home to Moscow he, it's traditional among departing friends he tells him, hand over his very expensive-looking watch to Ridzik who gladly give him his thinking that he got the best of the bargain. It turns out that Danko had a cheap $20.00 East-German made watch when Ridzik in exchange gave him and expensive $1,000.00 US/Swiss made one! The anti-capitalistic Soviet Ivan Danko learned how to be a capitalist a lot faster and better then the pro-capitalistic American Art Ridzik did.
Ivan Danko is a no-nonsense Soviet cop sent to Chicago to extradite a notorious Russian criminal back to Communist soil. While in America he is teamed-up with easy-going Detective Art Ridzik as they jump over new hurdles and suffer multiple setbacks. As an action comedy it offers a fare amount (but just not enough) of laughs and thrills. Big Arn is amusing a the brick-faced Danko and Belushi (in his first of three appearances in Arnie movies) is likable enough. Peter Boyle and a young Laurence Fishburne help appear in smaller roles as Ridzik's cynical superiors, but are not given much else to do. Gina Gershon (yum yum) shows up as a damsel in distress, but extends the plot without deepening it. Even James Horner's score is kind of middle-ground, neither good nor terrible.
There's no real problem or fault with Red Heat except that is just doesn't offer an exhilarating amount of what it sets up. It's so straight-forward and lacking in mystery and intrigue when it could so easily have written in. A bit of a missed-opportunity, but certainly worth watching and owning for action and Arnie fans.
Co-written, co-produced & directed by Walter Hill this buddy buddy mismatched cop action thriller is not too dissimilar to his earlier film 48 Hrs. (1982), as an overblown late 80's Hollywood action film Red Heat is watchable & entertaining but not outstanding. I think that if you were to ask anyone to name one Schwarzenegger film from the 80's nobody would say Red Heat, this is minor Arnie that doesn't particularly distinguish itself but is still a decent watch all the same. The script is a fairly routine rehash of the genre clichés, the two opposing character's who have to overcome a personality clash & other differences to take down some bad guy, one goes by the book while the other is a loose cannon on the edge cop who cracks lots of one-liners, there's the blatant disregard for credibility as a police commander actually lets this Russian & one of his cops run around with guns, there's either an action scene or shoot-out at regular intervals to take your mind off the wobbly story that is rather predictable & feels wholly routine & the inevitable ending where the two mismatched partners actually realise they can work together & develop a new found respect for each other despite their differences. To be fair for what it is & what it sets out to do, basically be an entertaining buddy buddy mismatched cop action thriller, Red Heat passes the time harmlessly enough & if it wasn't for the fact that it does feel a little generic it would probably be quite highly thought of amongst 80's action film junkies. The dialogue is quite snappy & amusing at times especially Belushi's foul mouthed wise cracking cop. There's nothing wrong with Red Heat as it were but at the same time it's not a film that really stands out, still perfectly watchable though.
Director Hill does alright, the production team was actually refused permission to film is Russia although they sneaked Arnie in & filmed him in Red Square while no-one was looking... The action scenes are well shot & edited, you can clearly see what's going on & there's none of that modern shaky hand-held camera movement or ultra quick cut editing which makes it impossible to see what's going on. This is the way an action film should be shot. Most of the set-pieces consist of shoot-outs & fights until the end when there's a pretty cool bus chase through Chicago some of which was later edited into the rubbish killer Cockroach film They Crawl (2001). Probably one of the few big budget Hollywood action flicks where nothing explodes or gets blown up. The film is dedicated to experienced stunt coordinator Bennie Dobbins who died on set on February 5th 1988 in Vienna while staging the opening scene of the fight in the snow. I must admit that I actually found the opening titles really annoying & the way that the 'R's & 'N's in people's names were reversed, I don't know why I just found it highly irritating to read. Also one has to mention the over-the-top sound effects which can sound really silly at times, just check out the sound effects at the start as Arnie beats the guy up in the snow to hear what I mean.
Technically the film is good, it has good production values & is well made. The cast is pretty good, Arnie is rather wooden, Belushi is fun, Gina Gershon is alright in a small role, Ed O'Ross makes for a good villain although I'm not sure about his accent while Laurence Fishburne does OK in an early role before he hit the big time with The Matrix trilogy.
Red Heat is a film that you can't really say much about, it's a fairly generic buddy buddy mismatched cop action thriller although taken for what it is it's above average for the genre. I liked it & I am sure most action fans will too.
Danko is sent to Chicago where he teams up with vocal, wisecracking, plainclothes detective Art Ridzik (John Belushi) in order to track down Victor to extradite him. After he was captured and escorted by Danko and Ridzik, though, Viktor escaped when he was assisted by the Cleanheads, who were dressed like policemen. Ridzick's partner was killed in the mêlée.
Thus the only plot of this action-thriller is to capture Viktor; there is neither mystery nor intrigue. There are, however, the obligatory shoot-outs and chase scenes. Note that neither Ridzick nor Danko believes in the Miranda Act. The ending involves a bus chase through the streets of Chicago at night, followed by a duel. This is the first movie in which an American director was allowed to film on location in Red Square. It was also filmed in Budapest and in Chicago.
The plot is lightweight and simple, following the detectives as they chase down a villainous crook, and to be fair it follows the action template of many an '80s films – there's plenty of shoot-outs, a few fist fights, and even a couple of vehicle chases thrown in for good measure. It's book-ended by a couple of well-remembered sequences (the sauna showdown that begins the movie and the game of coach chicken that finishes it) although my favourite moment sees Schwarzenegger blowing away a criminal gang in the grotty corridors of a sleazy hotel.
Aside from the central twosome, there are roles for Peter Boyle and a youthful Laurence Fishburne as top cops, Gina Gershon as a breathtakingly beautiful woman caught up in the crimes, Pruitt Taylor Vince as a hotel owner and Brion James as a sleazy crim (what else?). THE HIDDEN's Ed O'Ross is on good form as a thoroughly despicable villain. Although this is far from Schwarzenegger's best film, it passes the time amiably enough and is a lot stronger than many of his later efforts.
Ivan is from Russia, he goes to Chicago, Illinois to find a villain who is slowly turning Russia into the next Miami. Well, Ivan must work with Art Ridzik, a cop from Chicago, when the villain gets away. Together they must find out how to capture him, but Art is going to have a hard time with the "iron jawed" soldier who likes to do things his own way. Not to mention Ivan with Art who has to stick by the American book of police brutality.
Red Heat isn't a bad movie, it was cool seeing one of Gina Gershon's first roles in film, she actually did a decent job in Red Heat; it wasn't a surprise that she made it big afterwards. Arnold did a good job as well, I loved how monotone his lines were, he was great. But it was Belushi who just killed it for me, no offense to Jim, but he's not John, I recommend that he just stays away from comedies.
it was arnies first movie out side of sci-fi / fantasy so playing Russian KGB was the obvious choose. belushi also had this first action flick and pulled of it well.
this is a true guys flick from the late 80's it was not a big hit in the cinemas but was huge on video made belushi a big video star. he did not have much success in cinema but in oz he ruled the video shelf in the late 80,s. and we all no what happened to arnie. as for walter hill he never had another hit after another 48hrs shame but he must of made a killing from producing those alien flicks.
it may not be the best buddy movie out there but not to be missed either.
Cop-buddy action films are an old ball-and-chain, but they all rely on how they are delivered. In basis of delivery, Walter Hill's RED HEAT is an enjoyable piece of entertainment. Absurd, violent, over-the-top and downright entertaining, this is a fun (and funny) thriller playing the old cop-buddy formula so good, the film is very fun even if it's been used before, whether good (LETHAL WEAPON) or bad (THE PRESIDIO). RED HEAT stands out as one of the good ones.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is hilarious as he wears a furry hat as a soviet police officer sent to America to track down a Russian drug lord (Ed O'Ross), who is also responsible for the death of his partner. He is then partnered to a wacky Chicago cop named Art Ridzik (Jim Belushi) in search of the drug tycoon and his thugs in Chicago. Although dark and violent, director Hill manages to inject as much humor as possible. Schwarzenegger is a weak actor, but he's funny in this film. Belushi is a hoot as the crazy police partner.
The action is impressive, from car chases, fast-paced shootouts and even trains crashing on buses. But it's the humor that really gets to you more here, and there's a lot. Since buddy-cop movies are pretty common 80's attraction, this one is delivered with style and a whole lot of wit.
Rating: *** out of 5.
Belushi, an hysterically funny, off-the-wall zany comic... in his own mind... overplays his formula "loose cannon" role with irksome predictability. Arnhuld does little better with Ivan Danko, a character you might call one-dimensional if he were that complex.
The film is one of constant contradictions. The brief nudity and frequent bad language work against the MOR buddy cop comedy. The settings are low-key and squalid, yet directed with a brash, mainstream feel. There are good actors, such as Laurence Fishburne, yet wasted on severely underwritten lines, sloppy editing and indifferent direction. All the items commonly associated with half-assed low brow actioners are present: hysterically screaming, half-dressed women; characters yelling with "comic" effect as a vehicle goes out of control and flies through the air; plus police chiefs that threaten you'll be "back to a desk job on Monday."
The cold war politics are dealt with in a childishly patronising way, while the plot is a series of perfunctory set pieces loosely strung together. There doesn't even appear to be three full acts, the climax drawing short and having little emotional resonance.
Yet it's impossible to really slate the film, as it was really just one in a long line of "seemed good at the time" weak star vehicles for then up-and-coming Arnie. It might not be any good, but he does get to take his shirt off, shoot a few people and get into fights. Well that's all right then. 4/10.
P.S. Doviray mnie, tovarisch!
All of the above sounds pretty much the standard Hollywood cop story formula and that does not bode well but this movie wins on its execution and balance. It's very well edited with a constant but not overwhelming flow of action and a script that gives both Belushi and Schwarzenegger occasion to deliver moments of levity. Both leads are well cast and they do a good job together and you can believe not just in the characters but in the way that they rub along together. Despite the fact that parts of the movie were shot in Russia and Eastern Europe using local actors, the movie does not seem to move beyond a stereotyped view of the people and country. That is really just a small criticism though and the important thing is that this is one of the best buddy-cop movies around.
Overall rating: 9 out of 10.