Walter Hill must have loved his original misogynistic cop buddy movie with unlikely guys being paired together in the big city and having a bus come into play later for the bad guy to make a getaway in. It worked so well in his film 48 Hrs, the birth of the cop buddy movie that he uses those aforementioned elements here.
Red Heat is often placed near the bottom of Arnie's movies but having this one in the 80's which was the big guy's prime I thought it couldn't be all bad and it couldn't be worse then Raw Deal.
I was curious to see Arnold in a cop buddy movie and, hey this is it. Arnold being the stern and silent man from the Iron Curtain and paired with Jim Belushi as a wise acre cop, the kind who the chief is always on his ass and the clock is running with bills to pay ya know? Pairing one the biggest movie stars ever with a guy who, lets face it has some talent but is best remembered as the brother of the guy who had loads of it, was going to be interesting but it could have been far worse. Peter Boyle and Larry Fishbourne are around as higher level Cops, Gina Gershon is there to sex things up a bit with a connection to our villian-who is Ed O' Ross and I am stunned that underneath all of his stubble and thick voice would be a guy who would be Itchy in the Dick Tracy movie in a year or so.
I should probably say something about Austrian born Arnold playing a Russian (named Ivan Danko, no doubt since the name Ivan Drago was used in another 80's movie with the other big action star at the time) Is it really important that people of different cultural backgrounds play certain roles. I don't know. It depends on the movie and how much someone cares I guess. For every John Wayne as Genghis Khan you can have a Sean Connery as James Bond. I'll let you figure out the good and the bad there.
The story has Danko tracking down a big drug dealer in Russia named Viktor only to have him escape and kill Danko's partner and flee to Chicago to await a big drug deal. Viktor gets arrested for a minor offence but escapes custody and is on the loose in Chi Town. Belushi's cop character Art Ridzik who when he isn't checking out girls on the corner is put together with Danko when he arrives in country and the two must put up with each other to find Viktor. Danko gets his jibes in about Capitalism and western culture while Art and others give their two cents about the East in all it's Cold War knowledge.
The good is that there is some nice humor in the movie mixed in nice with the action and Arnold is great as always. Well great as far as Arnold goes anyway. The bad is that I did feel I was watching a weaker 48 Hrs again. Eddie Murphy was Arnold and Nick Nolte was Belushi. If Arnold wasn't in this, you would have had a movie with no interest at all.
Who the movie was made for is clear, fans of Arnie and people who like cop movies. Sure it isn't bad. Fans of Arnold will want to see it at least once that or for the 80's movie nostalgia night it would be worth it. If you haven't seen 48 Hrs, see this first and then that film so that you can appreciate the earlier film more and when this movie was done better.
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