Movie Article

Clothes Make The Mann

''Heat'''s star-studded cast -- Al Pacino and Robert De Niro star in Michael Mann's upcoming action flick

''Heat'''s star-studded cast

Guns flashing. Cars crashing. Bank robbers in hockey masks and detectives kicking down doors. The trailer for Heat, which opens Dec. 8, would look like every other cops-and-robbers preview if it weren't for three big things: Al Pacino is the cop, Robert De Niro is the robber, and director Michael Mann is controlling the color palette. The man who made pastels popular in the mid-'80s with Miami Vice sets his stars in a moral — and sartorial — universe of lights and darks and just a few shades of gray. So we get a fiery-intense Pacino applying his heat in soft black shirts and ties flecked with ash. And we get an icily intense De Niro looking like serious business in white shirts and conservative suits (better tailoring than a Quentin Tarantino gunman ever had). Those hockey masks? One's white, one's black. Sure, the acting matchup is the big draw (the two heavyweights propelled The Godfather, Part II but never shared a scene — now they're together again for the very first time). The trailer is so geared to the two stars that we barely glimpse the supporting cast, which includes Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, and the red-hot Val Kilmer. Yet it's Mann's oft-declared visual genius that lurks in the shadows.

Originally posted Nov 17, 1995 Published in issue #301 Nov 17, 1995 Order article reprints
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