They were together for just two scenes in Heat, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, those twin icons of ’70s New York cinema, and how we craved for more.
Well, 13 years later, here they are again, reunited for an entire movie that, if it wasn’t for the presence of these two living legends, might well have gone straight to DVD, or cable, or been left on the shelf indefinitely.
Thirty-year partners on the force, NYPD homicide detectives Turk (De Niro) and Rooster (Pacino) are hunting for a poetry-loving psycho who, frustrated by the inadequacies of the judicial system, has taken the law into his own hands, wasting a range of scumbags from dope dealers to paedophilic priests.
The nowhere-near-as-clever-as-it-thinks-it-is script (by Inside Man’s Russell Gewirtz, recycling his own devices) opens with one character ‘confessing’ to the 14 murders on camera, but it really isn’t fooling anyone.
You can virtually spot the twist just by scanning the sleeve art; hack direction by Jon Avnet (88 Minutes) fails to fill the suspense vacuum.
The pair fall back on their default screen personas (Al gobby and droll, Bobby coiled and imposing), but De Niro’s constipated expression says it all. “This one is bad,” muses Pacino’s character near the end. No arguments there…
All told, a totally criminal waste of talent.