Rated: R for obscenities and graphic violence. Reviewed by: Chris Release date: December 15, 1995 Released by: Warner Brothers
I was really looking forward to seeing this crime drama starring two of the best actors around, and I wasn't disappointed.
Michael Mann (Miami Vice) directs a quality film starring Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino as determined protagonists.
DeNiro plays Neil McCauley, a thief and killer whose gang knocks off an armored car at the beginning of the film. He's planning another big job, along with gang member Chris (Val Kilmer) when homicide detective Vincent Hanna (Pacino) becomes interested in him.
Besides a stylistic thriller, Mann puts great detail in the two men's personal lives, and although quite different, draws a parallel to their similarities.
Laid back Neil has a younger girlfriend and lives in a beautiful house that has almost no furniture because he wants to be able to make a quick, clean break. High-strung Vincent is on his third marriage, which is in trouble. Both are lonely men, focused on their jobs and obsessed with each other.
When the two men finally come face to face in a coffee shop, you can see they have a mutual respect; it's the best part of the film.
Neil, tired of the grind, is looking for that one last job before quitting. The story has been done before, but never better.
There's plenty of violence here and a particularly sleazy character (played b y Tom Sizemore). The action spreads to three hours, but Pacino and DeNiro are so tragically convincing and interesting, the time flies by.