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Red Heat Ivan Danko Красная жара Red Bull Arnold Schwarzenegger James Belushi Ed O'Ross Peter Boyle Gina Gershon Laurence Fishburne Richard Bright Brent Jennings

Red Heat: a Russian and American cop are forced together to capture a nasty drug dealer that’s killed their colleagues on both sides of the globe. With the opening sequence starting in a nearly-nude Soviet sauna/spa and culminating in a naked snow-fight you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d accidentally bought a gay porno; and when you’re finally settling back in to the movie… BOOM… another homoerotic shower scene with Arnie. The rest of the film is pinned on the culture clash of a stereotyped disciplined and ‘barbaric’ Soviet paired with a schlubby ‘wimpy’ American – aren’t culture clashes funny? LOL! We get everything from misunderstood slang (“You’re shitting me?” / “I’m not shitting on you”) through to plain old “I give up: this whole thing is very Russian!” <rolls eyes>. It sounds hammy, and some of it is, but it’s entertaining and carries the film: distracting you from the generic plot. It’s one of Arnie’s more challenging roles at that point, and he just about pulls it off as an Austrian speaking English with a Russian accent (MIND BLOWN!), which has led to the film becoming a cult movie in Russian speaking territories. It’s light on action, but when guns are blazing it’s satisfactory and brainless stuff like firing a six-shooter 18 times without reloading, and a Chicago bus carnage finale. Tonally, the film straddles a gulf between the wacky and light-hearted cop-pairing, and an ultra-evil bad guy / drugs / violence / nudity angle. Released in the mid-1980s – before the end of the Cold War – I suspect it had more going for it; however, looking back, it’s pretty unremarkable. Red Heat is a buddy-cop movie that ticks the boxes, but isn’t quite funny or action-packed to stand out.

Score: 5/10

Red Heat Baddies Villains, Красная жара, Red Bull, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Belushi, Ed O'Ross, Peter Boyle, Gina Gershon, Laurence Fishburne, Richard Bright, Brent Jennings

“Moscow’s toughest detective. Chicago’s craziest cop. There’s only one thing more dangerous than making them mad: making them partners.”

Red Heat Buddy Cop, Красная жара, Red Bull, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Belushi, Ed O'Ross, Peter Boyle, Gina Gershon, Laurence Fishburne, Richard Bright, Brent Jennings

The Lookout: a brain-damaged guy gets taken advantage of because of his part-time job in a bank. Not just any bank though, the lamest bank in history with huge windows, a remote location and high-risk employees! The natural dialogue made everyone seem quite normal and believable, with the exception of ‘Bone’, who looked like a tardy Agent Smith from the Matrix. Both Levitt and Daniels do a fairly decent job with their difficult characters. The Vigilante memory loss section at the end is when the film really kicks in to gear (like a ‘Diet Memento’) but was too little too late for me, and the action scenes aren’t well-edited. It’s an OK film but with lots of dubious aspects: like how despite causing a fatal car crash, and having brain damage, Chris Pratt is allowed to drive!? The only thing the film really taught me was that money is power… pretty deep stuff.

Score: 5/10