Michael Mann acts as if no other crime movie has ever been made
Michael Mann combines both the realist and abstract tendencies of his work in a rare intertextual moment in Heat. Mann’s men display superior skills and dominate the terrain they inhabit, they are also increasingly anachronistic figures who experience a sense of “hyperalienation.”
A 65-ft.-wide screen and 500 people reacting to the movie, there is nothing like that experience.
They are out of time: the phrase “time is luck” is used on several occasions in Mann’s films. It occurs when Neil McCauley returns to his seaside home after the initial heist. He places his gun on the table and stares at the ocean, his back to the camera. This scene is based explicitly on Alex Colville’s Pacific (1967). As with Manhunter, Mann uses a blue filter, but the tone is noticeably different.
Alex Colville Pacific