Another Outposter contribution to make us very happy here at Last Movie Outpost Towers. Toughguyrizzo returns fresh from his earlier review of Unicorns – Warriors Eternal with something a little different. This time he is reviewing something which we believe is called a B-O-O-K. Now, we weren’t too sure what one of these was, but a little light Googling revealed that these are, in fact, big papery things that are a little like a movie script, but have the actual stage directions included inside the talky bits to form something called a “story”. Amazing, huh? This one was called Heat 2.
Hey Outposters! I was sparked by Eggy’s post about movies that shouldn’t be remade. Heat 2 came up in the talkbacks and I just finished the book over the last weekend.
So, here goes:
If they make this movie the way the book reads, it has the making of another masterpiece. The book starts off where the movie leaves off, in 1995. We get Hanna still after McCauley’s crew, tracking down his love interest (Eady) from CCTV at the hotel. Hanna finds the receipt from the bookstore, and Hanna tells Eady it is:
“A book about metals. Everything you know about Neil McCauley and his crew.”
Hanna traces Chris (Val Kilmer) from Eady to Nate (John Voight) at the Blue Room. So we depart from here knowing Hanna still has a hard-on for the rest of McCauley’s crew.
We then skip to 1988, Chicago. Neil and his are crew robbing a bank. They find floppy disks that lead to major money and an intel meeting with Kelso (Tom Noonan) and Nate. The intel sets up a heist in Mexico. On the other side of town is Waingro. While they don’t say the character’s real name at first, we see signs such as Waingro’s trademark kills. All is not as it seems here, and he could be a fake. The link here is that McCauley and whoever this is are using the same car chop shop. Neil is solid and direct in his transactions with the man who runs the place, Grimes, telling him:
“You tell nobody what cars you are getting, or why, or for who…”
Who we presume is Waingro takes notice that Neil is a pro and onto a big score. Meanwhile, Hanna comes into the story, as he is tracking these killings and plan to take him down, right up to having a stakeout and being ready to go to bust him mid-score. When things go sideways Hanna ends up with such a hard-on for busting the killer that he’s doing blow and throwing guys off the roof to get to him.
Among all this, we get a backstory about Chris and his relationship with Charlene. We learn about what happened to Chris after the original movie. There is action involving the mob in Paraguay, a romantic subplot with a boss’ daughter named Ana, and this all sets things up for later. There is torture, there is death, and we also find out where McCauley’s moral philosophy comes from:
“Allow nothing to be in your life that you cannot walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner.”
The story moves back and forth through the time periods, at one point we flash forward to the year 2000 and find some of the crew still in LA. It all builds to a climax that reads like the shootout at the end of the original.
I’ve liked Michael Mann ever since watching Thief. The details. I like the approach – “How are you gonna do this the right way, not robbing liquor stores with a born-to-lose tattoo?”
I always loved the precision of his movies, ever since I saw Manhunter, with shooting Brian Cox thru the cell bars. I did post some spoilers, but there’s a ton of detail I left out. The whole book is really well done. If this does get made into a movie one day and they stick to the book, they can’t go wrong. We got Adam Driver so far, but I was hoping for Austin Butler as a young Val Kilmer.
I highly recommend this book. Heat 2 is in my top 5 as an absolute masterpiece.
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