Ben Affleck is such a fan of Michael Mann’s Heat that he took it upon himself to remake the entire movie! There’s nothing terribly original about the movie other than it’s set in Boston which is Affleck’s home town and an unsettling similarity to the Departed which only came out a few years ago.
The thing about it is this; it’s pretty damn good. It’s good in regards to performance both by Affleck and his supporting cast. It’s well conceived, shot, and after almost two hours you’re every bit as interested in the characters and the outcome as when it started. It’s only too bad that “Heat” is still a better movie.
This is a straight up heist movie. No frills or gimmicks. Truthfully, even those of us who love Heat could use a little more of the genre in our collections. So let’s see… It breaks down like this; Affleck is the head of a crew of bank robbers who are terribly professional and ruthless. Affleck wants to get out of the life. He sees his father in jail and he knows he’ll end up in the next cell if he doesn’t get out soon. He meets a nice girl who doesn’t know what he does for a living and pins his hopes of a new life on leaving with her. Unfortunately, there are Feds looking for his crew and sooner or later they’re going to catch up with him, (most likely in the street with automatic weapons firing) and then he’ll never get that fresh start he was looking for.
Still totally worth watching and fully enjoyable, only small qualms present themselves for discovery. There isn’t as much of the technical ‘how did they pull this off’ as you’d like. Instead, we get told that there will be a heist and then Affleck and his crew have police uniforms, utility vehicles and intricate knowledge of every detail of the heist, but without any set up showing how they had prepped. This is a character piece that should really focus on the human relationships of the characters, except these themes are better explored by Michael Mann who also knew how to end his film properly.