Kansas City in the 1930s: Private Investigator Mike Murphy's (Burt Reynolds') partner is brutally murdered when he tries to blackmail a mobster with his secret accounting records. When a rival gang boss goes after the missing records, ex-policeman Murphy is forced to team up again with his ex-partner Lieutenant Speer (Clint Eastwood), even though they can't stand each other, to fight both gangs before Kansas City erupts in a mob war.Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
In the scene where Spear gets into a shoot-out with the thug in the hallway and stairwell, he shoots the thug a total of eight times, all in the upper chest area. However, later when he and Murphy are examining the bodies in the morgue, there is an overhead shot of the same thug and he has no upper chest wounds of any kind. See more »
Shocking what Prohibition causes some people to drink these days.
The weight of expectation for City Heat was massive, two iconic Hollywood actors together in a buddy buddy cop movie, one with nods and homages to film noir and old school gangster movies, it wasn't unreasonable to expect a movie to sit with the best on Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynold's then CV's circa 1984. Unfortunately it's no masterpiece or close to being in the upper echelon's of each actor's respective works. But that doesn't make it a bad film.
A change of director saw Blake Edwards replaced by Richard Benjamin after Eastwood and Edwards, ahem, couldn't see eye to eye, so that immediately put the film on the back foot in many critic's eyes. Ironically Benjamin does OK - working from Edwards' script (there's a whole bunch of back stories and tittle-tattle assigned to this film if you care to search for it). Lots of fun here, though, as Clint and Burt, one a cop, the other an ex-cop turned PI, reluctantly team up to cut a swathe through the gangsters ruling the roost in prohibition era Kansas City.
Eastwood does his straight backed machismo act, throwing awesome punches along the way, while Reynolds is wonderfully cheerful as a tough guy who all things considered, would rather not get hurt! The script is full of zingers, delivered with customary sardonic self parody by the stars, while the roll call of supporting actors is not to be sniffed at. Period detail is high end, with Nick McLean's photography carrying the requisite neo-noir impact, while the music tracking is pleasingly nostalgic.
It's over the top of course and needlessly convoluted as per its yearning to be noirish, yet if you can cut back your expectation levels? And you can simply enjoy the sight of Eastwood and Reynolds having fun romping in this period? Then you just might enjoy this more than you dared to believe. 7/10
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