Written by / 5/04/2016 / No comments / , , , , , , , ,

CLINT EASTWOOD & BURT REYNOLDS TEAM IN CITY HEAT

Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood team up in 1984
Remembering the time, as an action movie fan teenager, when realizing CITY HEAT did not take place in an edgy modern setting – before the knowledge and love of Film Noir and/or Classic Gangster flicks – was a complete letdown...

Clint and Burt
Years have opened the mind, and, while remaining an overall dud to what it could have been given the collaborative talents of Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds, CITY HEAT has gotten a little more entertaining: not really standing the test of time, but it's leaned comfortably against it, somewhat. For one, starting out with the human ogre who wanted Clint as his shower punk in ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ, both sitting beside each other in a corner cafe, Eastwood's cop, Speer, looks tough as ever...

And when flaky gumshoe detective Mike Murphy, played by a slippery, well-dressed Burt, arrives, there's a big fight that's worthy of the duo, and the otherwise mainstream director (70's sweater guy actor) Richard Benjamin (who centered mostly on comedy but sporadically ventured into drama) plays up to Clint's fans by letting us wait... and wait... till he's pushed too far, as, after getting coffee spilled on his shirt, he NARROWS those already-narrowed eyes, and that's pretty much that...

Burt Noir
Though it's really just the beginning of a little thriller that uses Burt for laughs, and Clint as an anchor, doing what he did in that opening fight... waiting for the mustached charmer to do all the "work" and then step in. Eventually, after a pivotal death having to do with a crooked boxing scam, loads of cash, and introducing the villain, the boys, who were once lawmen partners, get together once again, and while there's too much silliness, and Jane Alexander doesn't have the looks to be a worthy wishbone between them, CITY HEAT isn't that bad a ride. Slightly above average, and with enough fists flying and guns firing for a rainy night stay home movie with two cool dudes, it'll just do.

Ego Credit Sequence not used in CITY HEAT
RATING: ***
TRIVIA: Amazing Clint and Burt didn't have the Paul Newman/Steve McQueen TOWERING INFERNO style "ego opening credit" (also occurring from JAWS to CHEERS) with the first billed on the left-bottom, and the second on the top-right. Instead, Clint gets first, followed by Burt... at this time, Burt was BEST LITTLE STROKER ACE WHO LOVED WOMEN slipping and Clint, well, never slipped • A near-future Bond villain, Robert Davi, has a cameo of a thug who gets tie stuck in a roll-up window, thanks to Eastwood, while Blaxploitation icon SHAFT himself, Richard Roundtree, plays Burt's nice yet shady partner and Irene Cara, about rounding out her fifteen minutes, is his crooning damsel in distress • And Burt's no stranger to Neo Noir... despite Eastwood saying SHARKY'S MACHINE was DIRTY HARRY in Georgia, it's really more Noir than action, and Burt's past FN homages are SHAMUS and HUSTLE, and you can even call DELIVERANCE Hillbilly Noir.
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