Heat 2 by Meg Gardiner and Michael Mann; HarperCollins (480 pages, $28.99)
In an age of reboots, limited series, and sequels, it makes a lot of sense because it would make a lot of cents for one of the greatest action movies ever made to continue.
The 1995 film The Heat, starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino and directed by Michael Mann, returns in novel form.
A hit movie that continues in the form of a novel has a precedent.
A hit movie that isn’t based on a book that continues in the form of a novel co-written by the movie’s director and screenwriter is a creative phenomenon.
Mann has made a career out of doing things outside the center of the conventional, and “Heat 2” fits into a pattern that he creates as he goes along.
The Heat 2 is one of the most anticipated works of fiction for 2022, especially because Mann wrote it based on the cult film he created.
He’s 79 and a first-time author.
“Heat 2” is a great idea.
As a film, “Heat” does not need anything else. It is one of those organic, perfect creations that any subsequent attempt to continue will not ruin, but simply disappoint.
As a story, Mann felt 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 a chance to cash in on this title.
If you liked the movie, the book is satisfying. It’s not great literature, but it’s a fun read for a crime novel; a return to history 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 do crimes like Mann. His version of cops and robbers is slick, cool, fashionable, authentic looking and always masculine.
Heat 2, written by Austin-based Meg Gardiner, is the complete story of the complex characters that made the original film one of the most compelling action films ever made.
It’s been more than 25 years since we last saw LAPD Detective Vincent Hanna holding Neal McCauley’s hand after he shot and killed a bank robber during his escape attempt around LAX Airport.
The book opens with Hanna following the rest of McCauley’s team to LA in pursuit of his best assistant, Chris Shiherlis.
The 466-page book then flashes back to the beginning of Hannah’s career, which began in the military.
McCauley’s and Hannah’s careers overlapped in Chicago; Shicherlis developed his gambling problem in Vegas, where he met a high-priced call girl whom he eventually fell in love with.
The only thing missing from these pages is the soundtrack Mann found for his crime films.
When you read “Heat 2,” you might just hear the music of Tangerine Dream, Elliot Goldenthal, or Jan Hammer echoing in your head.
These composers gave Mann’s films a distinct sound that helped set his action films apart from others.
This makes “Heat 2” difficult; Mann’s skill is to create an audio and visual experience, while the book relies on the imagination.
This is the rare book in which the reader already has the images of characters in his mind; while reading the book you see De Niro, Pacino, Val Kilmer and Ashley Judd etc.
It’s also the rare book where the reader has to watch the movie before turning page one.
This wouldn’t be his first attempt at returning to a brand that people loved; in 2006, he adapted his 1980 TV show Miami Vice into a film.
Miami Vice was an average movie.
The Heat 2 book is well above average and will satisfy fans of the original movie who want to see and hear these people again.
You just might want to throw in some Jan Hammer in the background to give the book a full Mann experience.
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