Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Belushi, Peter Boyle, Ed O'Ross, Laurence Fishburne, Gina Gershon, Richard Bright, J.W. Smith, Brent Jennings, Gretchen Palmer, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Mike Hagerty, Brion James
Written by: Harry Kleiner, Walter Hill, Troy Kennedy-Martin, based on a story by Walter Hill
Directed by: Walter Hill
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 104
Date: 06/17/1988
IMDB

Red Heat (1988)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Russian Snark

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The great director Walter Hill returned to some of his familiar themes with this one, namely characters stuck on unfamiliar ground and often reluctantly teamed up with unlikely partners. He had a hit using this formula with 48 Hrs., but it doesn't work quite as well in Red Heat. Though James Belushi was, like Eddie Murphy, a veteran of "Saturday Night Live," and he makes a believable Chicago cop, he's not particularly used to good comic effect. And though Arnold Schwarzenegger manages a serviceable Russian accent, he's at his most robotic here, and fails to generate much chemistry or emotional energy.

The plot has Ivan Danko (Schwarzenegger) coming to America to find an escaped criminal, a murderer responsible for the death of Danko's partner. The bad guy also manages to kill Detective Ridzik's (Belushi) partner, and so they team up to catch him. The movie spends a lot of time on their banter, which doesn't ever catch fire. And then the action sequences seem more routine than anything. Some of them are just silly. But if, like me, you're a die-hard fan of director Hill, there are still many satisfying little moments.

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