In the age of reboots, limited series, and sequels, it makes a lot of sense, because it would make a lot of pennies, that one of the best action movies would eventually go on.
The 1995 film “Heat,” starring Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino and directed by Michael Mann, returns in novel form.
A successful movie continuing in novel form is unprecedented.
A successful film that was not based on a book that continues in novel form, co-written by the film’s director and writer, is a creative phenomenon.
Mann has made a career of doing things outside of the mainstream, and “Heat 2” fits a mold that he does on the fly.
“Heat 2” will premiere on August 9. It’s one of the most anticipated works of fiction of 2022, specifically because Mann wrote it based on the cult hit movie he created.
He is 79 years old and a first-time author.
“Heat 2” is a great idea.
As a movie, “Heat” doesn’t need anything else. It’s one of those organic, seamless creations that any attempt to continue won’t ruin, just disappoint.
As a story, Mann felt like there was more to be done, so… he’s Michael Mann. He can do whatever he wants, and a publisher and studio would never turn down the opportunity to cash in on this title.
If you liked the movie, the book is satisfying. It’s not great literature, but it’s an entertaining whodunit read; a return to a story and a set of people that are undeniably attractive.
“Heat 2” reads like you’re watching a Michael Mann action movie.
Between “Thief,” “Manhunter,” “Miami Vice” and “Heat,” few people in Hollywood commit crimes like Mann. The cops and robbers version of him is witty, fresh, modern, authentic and always masculine.
“Heat 2,” which was co-written by Austin-based Meg Gardiner, is the full story arc of the complex characters that made the original film one of the most compelling action movies ever produced.
It’s been over 25 years since we last saw LAPD Detective Vincent Hanna hold hands with Neil McCauley after he shot and killed a bank robber during his LAX escape attempt.
The book opens with Hanna tracking down the rest of McCauley’s team in Los Angeles, looking for his top assistant, Chris Shiherlis.
The 466-page book goes back to the beginning of Hanna’s career, which began in the military.
McCauley and Hanna’s careers overlap in Chicago; Shiherlis develops his gambling problem in Las Vegas, where he meets a high-priced prostitute with whom he eventually falls in love.
The only thing missing from these pages is the soundtrack Mann found for his crime films.
When you read “Heat 2”, you might hear echoes of the music of Tangerine Dream, Elliot Goldenthal or Jan Hammer in your head.
Those composers gave Mann’s films a distinctive sound that helped set his action films apart from others.
That’s what makes “Heat 2” difficult; Mann’s skill is to create an audio and visual experience, whereas a book is based on the imagination.
This is the rare book when the reader already has the images of the characters in their mind; as you read the book you see DeNiro, Pacino, Val Kilmer and Ashley Judd etc.
It is also the rare book where the reader must see the movie before starting the first page.
Mann has said he plans “Heat 2” be made into a movie.
That won’t be his first attempt at getting back to a brand that people loved; in 2006 he turned his 1980s television show “Miami Vice” into a movie.
“Miami Vice”, the movie was average.
“Heat 2” the book is way above average and will satisfy fans of the original movie who want to see and hear these people again.
You may want to turn on some Jan Hammer in the background to give the book a full Mann experience.
This story was originally published August 2, 2022 10:21 a.m.