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Walter Hill: The '80s

The Long Riders

Southern Comfort

48 Hrs.

Streets of Fire

Brewster's Millions

Crossroads

Extreme Prejudice

Red Heat (November 25/09)

Though it does boast several above-average action sequences and an expectedly compelling performance from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Red Heat ultimately comes off as a plodding, downright generic buddy-cop thriller that's simply unable to sustain the viewer's interest for more than a few minutes at a time. The storyline follows Russian detective Ivan Danko (Schwarzenegger) as he arrives in Chicago hoping to track down a notorious drug dealer (Ed O'Ross' Viktor Rostavili), with problems ensuing as Danko finds himself caught up in a whole mess of red tape and forced to partner up with a slovenly American cop (James Belushi's Art Ridzik). It's a serviceable premise that's generally employed to middling effect by filmmaker Walter Hill, as the cowriter/director stresses the protagonists' ongoing investigation to an increasingly lamentable degree (ie the movie primarily comes off as an '80s-style police procedural). The ensuingly uneven vibe ensures that Schwarzenegger's top-notch work - questionable Russian accent notwithstanding - often stands as the film's one genuinely compelling attribute, with the watchable yet underwhelming nature of everything else within the proceedings cementing Red Heat's place as a forgettable Schwarzenegger vehicle.

out of

Johnny Handsome

© David Nusair