Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Belushi star in this nonstop action thriller from the director of 48 HRS.
What We Thought:
Red Heat isn’t one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s beloved classics, but it’s still pretty solid. I hadn’t seen it in years, maybe even decades so watching it on 4K it felt somewhat new. It combines two standard storytelling devices in one.
One is the fish-out-of-water angle. Arnold plays a Soviet cop sent to the US (Chicago) to retrieve a Soviet gangster wanted for murder, drug dealing and more. Arnold only knows the Soviet ways of doing things and that doesn’t mix well in Chicago.
On top of that, it’s your classic straight man and wild card comedy duo. Of course Schwarzenegger gets some one liners, but he’s the straight-faced Soviet opposite Jim Belushi’s over-the-top Chicago cop. Belushi doesn’t do things by the books. He doesn’t listen to his captain. He goes where he’s not supposed to be. They’ve been using this duo comedy for decades for a reason, it works. Schwarzenegger and Belushi play off each other well with Belushi trying to teach Arnie the American way of doing things with the giant Soviet wanting to break faces and get the job done.
Like I said before, it’s not one of Arnold’s bigger hits especially in the 1980’s. By the time this came out in 1988, he already had The Terminator, Commando, Predator, The Running Man and others under his belt. Looking it up now, it barely turned a profit at the box office. Maybe they expected the Soviet/US angle to pay off more. Maybe they figured Schwarzenegger was such a big draw that people would see it regardless. Rewatching it now, I can see why it wasn’t a home run. Sure I’m seeing it by today’s standards, but I also love these movies from the 80’s so I can try to watch it for the time period. I’m thinking a different comedian instead of Belushi might have made it work better and made it bigger. This is from the director 48 Hours and Brewster’s Millions after all.
But the 4K does look pretty good. It wasn’t shot in HD in the first place and I’m not sure how much different it is from the Blu-ray. It does come with some solid bonus features though including some fun featurettes. It sounds great and I totally forgot Gina Gershon was in it. Red Heat isn’t a spectacular film, but if you like Schwarzenegger you’ll like it and the bus chase at the end is pretty cool.
4K SPECIAL FEATURES
- “Arnold Schwarzenegger – The Man Who Raised Hollywood” Featurette
- “Political Context of Red Heat” Featurette
- “East Meets West” Featurette
- “A Stunt Man for All Seasons” Featurette
- “I’m Not Russian, But I Play One on TV” Featurette
- “Making of Red Heat” Featurette
- Original Trailer