Iconic Holywood writer/director Michael Mann pairs up with acclaimed novelist Meg Gardiner to revisit and expand on the world of cop Vincent Hanna, thieves Neil McCauley and Chris Shiherlis and the pursuit of their goals before and after the events portrayed in the 1995 film.
Coiled like a spring, this crime thriller ratchets up the tension, delivering a cinematic experience in novel form as Mann’s unique style elicits visuals that mesh perfectly with the colour palette and styles he brought to the screen.
Before his time as a cop in Robbery Homicide in LA, Hanna worked the same division in Chicago, where he comes incredibly close to brushing up against McCauley and his crew who have just pulled off a safe deposit box heist.
But Hanna is hooked in on tracking down a home invasion crew that targets wealthy targets, often killing them, after brutally raping any women in the set-up. Wardell leads the group and seems to be rage personified, taking it on women, and Hanna is determined to bring him down.
Wardell, however, has caught scent of McCauley’s next big thing, heisting millions of laundered money from a drug cartel just south of the border.
After the events of the film, Chris, the lone survivor escapes to South America where he becomes involved with a Taiwanese crime family, and may have found a new calling. He still wants to get back to his wife, Charlene, and his young boy, but she could be under surveillance, and the new world he finds himself in is proving to be very seductive and innovative.
When Wardell resurfaces in LA, Hanna is there and is determined to bring the brutal figure down, no matter the cost. He’s on the edge, which is where he needs to be, but is he ready for what’s coming his way?
Because Wardell’s latest target has a connection back to McCauley, and Chris is cruising for revenge for the killing of his friend.
Tightly paced, sliding back and forth through the years, Heat 2 is a helluva ride, conjuring the visuals, the style, and the dialogue that mark the iconic film while expanding the realm the characters inhabit.
Mann has been a favourite director of mine for a while and allowing him a chance to revisit one of his most iconic films in this way… it’s captivating. Don’t get me wrong I’d love a gritty reboot of Miami Vice as a weekly series with his involvement, but I’ll take Heat 2 and run with it.
Moments after finishing it, I wanted to dive into the film again, and watch it again, wondering if I would see it anew because of the events that took place before and after it.
Loved this book!