Heat (1995)

This is one epic action scene. It’s deep into the film, so the characters and their motivations are well established. It’s been built up, and all that’s left is to watch it unfold. This collision between the cops, led by Al Pacino’s Vincent Hannah, and the robbers, led by Robert De Niro’s Neil McCauley. Director Michael Mann is a technician, and this sequence is a masterpiece. The level of craftsmanship, the pacing, the discipline in its use of special effects. CGI would be the go-to in today’s filmmaking, and the scene would lose much of what makes it great. Mann alternates between long elegant tracking shots and jarring steady cam that give the feeling of guerrilla filmmaking (and realism). Take a second to admire the sound work being done. It’s beautiful.

-Walter Howard-

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