We are immediately presented with a classic crime 30's movie scene, rain falls hard on a dark cobbled street, whilst a hotel advertises vacant rooms with a neon sign. It feels like this movie was shot on a movie set instead of real outdoor scenery. You read matters like how he forced the director to put his eyes always in shadows like it's a remake of The Third Man or something! It has none of the grittiness required. If Mike is getting beat up by tough guys and he asks for help Speer won't help except if one of these guys spill his drink. There's supposed to be a contrast between them, but not one so strong that they both think they're in different genres.
Blake Edwards had a good movie on his hands, but Richard Benjamin came on to mess it up. While the movie is fun, it is not funny enough. Maybe if you've never seen and keep your expectations low, you'll enjoy it. You can tell this is right by watching the two leads. So that kind of Eastwood by Eastwood condition, which would have him completely later, left its early bad effects on this poor movie! A long shooting on the street with no one hitting no one, these guys needed a good training before being contracted by the mafia. To understand the original spoof-driven nature of the movie, just look at the massive street fight where Eastwood 's character attacked the entire gang single-handedly to destroy all of them; it's the usual Eastwood 's action, however designed as a hurly-burly live-cartoon sketch. It's pretty hard to have two stars, a good premise, the 1930s as a backdrop, and still have a unlikeable movie! I can still remember Chicago film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert blasting this movie when it came out.
Every time the screen shifted to Eastwood I finally caught up with what was happening. That's already one step in the wrong direction. Eastwood and Reynolds come off O. Edwards also wanted Kim Basinger another from The Man Who Loved Women The studio said nobody who had starred with Clint or Burt in a previous movie, could be hired. I'll admit Reynold's did make me laugh at times but it was just for that specific moment. Given the talent involved, absolute minimal effort would have made it a memorable film, significant effort would probably have pushed it to the level of classic. Reynolds blames himself for the movies poor performance, which I think is a bit harsh, as he was sick, so it's a miracle the movie got finished at all!! At least they come off better than they're supporting cast.
But it is a very underrated action-comedy film where two opposites policeman have to join forces to combat killers and gangsters. City Heat is just another buddy cop movie with no real life in its characters. The biggest problem with the film is the lack of chemistry between Eastwood and Reynolds. Reynolds on on the other hand is a motormouth who hardly stands still. It's not as bad as critics and some people say, it has many funny moments Eastwood is so serious that it's actually funny, he has great punchlines here , and the art direction is very careful and well made. His presence definitely overshadows Eastwood.
Reynolds had just spent 5 straight years as the number 1 movie star in the world 78-82 and Since the turn of the decade he had a movie in the Top 10 Highest grossers of the year, whilst Clint only had 1, but by the time it was released Reynolds had 3 flops in a row, whilst Clint had a huge hit with Sudden Impact. I laughed every time I heard glass breaking during the fight scenes. But that doesn't make it a bad film. Blake wanted Julie Andrews Burts co star in The Man Who Loved Women cast in the role of Burts girlfriend, Clint wanted Sondra Locke. Well, it never lived up to the hype. I bet, that was Edwards ' idea, as one of his gifted extravaganzas, or what remained of it here anyway! Clint Eastwood also has funny parts. That is really nerve racking for me.
But something went wrong early on during the production. That was kind of lousy to see. Just like any Eastwood movie, he has his own way of doing things and he does that in this movie too. When this was first discussed in 1983, it seemed like a good idea for Clint to star with Reynolds. I thought the set pieces were nice though and the film did make you believe it took place in the 30's which was good. But that's not saying much. That is until one of the goons bumps into Clint and spills his coffee.
Therefore when you observe the name of Joseph Stinson , who wrote Sudden Impact — 1983 the previous hit of Eastwood , next to the name of the departed Edwards , along with your feeling sometimes that Eastwood 's scenes seem so Eastwood 's; you'll easily understand that it's not quite a coincidence! Here in City Heat, this was one to forget for both of them. The style is too stiff and weak. This scene is a joy, it has banter between its leads, laughs and a fight. If you just watch a one-shot of Reynolds, you can tell he thinks this is The Naked Gun, but if you just watch a one-shot of Eastwood, seems he thinks this is Dirty Harry. Let alone that he insisted on the typical serious Eastwood 's image in a movie that maybe was designed to mock at this very image as a cold blooded, super violent, good guy.
The title is a little bit strange considering that most of the scenes were filmed at night and there's not enough scenes involving fire or explosions. The feel of the 1930's has an artificial air about it here, as clearly you can't escape the back-lot sets. I was bored with it. It obviously was too high for this film, which didn't deliver to meet everyone's high expectations. But this script never saw the light fully, because the man quitted the project quickly, and after a while he changed his name on the credits to Sam O. Though my rating is a little higher than Ebert's because I felt that some of the action scenes have punch. With Edwards gone, Clint was in control.
However, it turned out to be a petty concurrent mishmash! It's simply a case of a movie with too short of everything! Synopsis Kansas City in the 1930s: private investigator Mike Murphy's partner is brutally murdered when he tries to blackmail a mobster with his secret accounting records. City Heat was an action comedy released in 1984 which probably could have done better if it came out sometime in the late 1970's when both actors were at the top of their game at the box office. I'm not really sure how but that was one of the frustrating parts about this movie. The opening is fun, bit its a little closer to The Naked Gun than The Big Sleep. If you're making a buddy cop movie, you have to give some kind of background of the main characters. I felt that there was nothing to be excited about. By the way, back then, this Eastwood 's slight narcissism was hardly noticed, but within no time, it would be more than tangible, especially when he wouldn't act unless in movies directed by him or — at least — directed by his friends like Buddy Van Horn who directed The Dead Pool — 1988 and Pink Cadillac — 1989 for him.
Otherwise, the viewer will have no clue why the two characters are at odds half the time. Clint has no chemistry with Burt. It is fun seeing these two actors together in this film, but the script is the missing element. But then they're not prepared to stick with it. Relax, this is not a so serious movie, their fights are quite funny. It was actually made at a good time for both actors and the support cast is good. I was just watching a film with no emotion.