Review of Red Heat
This eighties action / buddy movie pairs Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Belushi as East meets West on the trail of a Russian drug-dealer (No prizes for guessing which of the pairing plays the Russian).
I won`t go into the details of the story, you can read the DVD details for that, however suffice to say it`s pretty standard eighties action movie fodder. That`s not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination however this was never the greatest of movies back in 1988 when it was released, so don`t expect anything amazing in 2002.
The anamorphic picture is of reasonably high quality for a release of this kind although there are some problems. Instances of noticeable dirt on the film are very rare however there are some scenes which appear a touch on the grainy side. The picture also comes across a little dull in places but it`s hard to know whether it`s supposed to be that way or not.
Overall a good transfer.
The intro to the film showcases a nice Dolby Digital introduction which is, unfortunately, the best audio moment of the entire film. The 5.1 soundtrack isn`t bad, it`s just largely very flat. The surround channels are rarely used and when they are they sound forced and out of place. The same can also be said of the left and right front speakers to some degree with the focus being far too fixed on the centre channel.
The sound quality is also inconsistent with some moments sounding muffled with others sounding crystal clear. It`s odd that the best audio moments in the film come from the music soundtrack and not the onscreen action.
The extras consist of a trailer and some behind the scenes footage. Nothing that will blow you away here but at least it`s better than attention usually paid to releases of this kind.
I`m a big Arnie fan and this movie always seemed somewhat of an anomaly in his career. There are two main problems with this movie as I see it. Firstly the pairing of the two stars simply doesn`t work and secondly, for an action movie, there isn`t that much action.
Arnie`s best when he takes centre stage and unfortunately Belushi is pushed more into the limelight. Whether through scripting or overbearing personality I don`t know but the net result isn`t the best it could have been. True I`ve never really like James Belushi in any movie that I can recall so maybe that has more to do with it, it`s just a shame Arnie isn`t given more to do.
On the action front there is little to set this film apart from many others of it`s type, which is a shame. Being a buddy movie as well you`d expect plenty of one liners and witty banter however this never really happens either. There area couple of amusing moments but nothing you`re likely to remember.
Remembering this is a budget release you can`t really complain about the quality of the disc, it does the job without being great and is certainly the best version of this film that you can own. The question is whether you`d want to own it and on that front I`d have to say it`s one for the completist Arnie fan only.