Director Walter Hill was already on a roll in the early 1980s with the hit movie 48 Hrs, a film that would go on to set the bar for the buddy-cop genre that became more popular as time went on thanks to favorites of mine such as the Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour films. So with Arnold Schwarzenegger dominating the box office with Conan the Barbarian in the early 80s, it only made sense to get him in on the action with Red Heat. It’s not quite as epic as 48 Hrs, but has enough fun action to keep viewers happy.
The plot follows the life of Russian cop Ivan Danko (Arnold Schwarzengger) who gets sent the U.S. to find and bring in a Russian drug-dealer named Viktor Rostavili (Ed O’Ross) who is also wanted for numerous murders. Danko eventually manages to find Viktor and is set to bring him in, but of course Viktor has friends in low places and escapes while a police officer is killed in action. This officer just so happens to be the partner and friend of Art Ridzik (James Belushi) who now wants revenge as does Danko, leading them to team up to bring down Viktor, if they can get along first.
I’m a sucker for buddy-cop films and I’ll take them anyway I can, so naturally I enjoyed this one as Belushi and Schwarzengger do a good job of bringing the action and some laughs along the way. Being a child of the 80s, I felt a little bad that I never got to see this film from beginning to end until now, but it was worth the wait since I got to see it in 4K with HDR and with Dolby HD audio.
The visuals are clean and detailed, making this look like a film that could’ve been released a few years ago rather than 30-some years back, and the audio punches its way through with plenty of gunfire and action. Special features include an extra that goes behind how Schwarzenegger took over Hollywood in the 80s, another hits on some of the stunt work in the film, while another goes behind the scenes of the making of the film and more.
If you’re looking for some 80s action, you can’t go wrong with Red Heat as it has everything you could want from a decent buddy-cop flick. You’ll probably have a better time with Walter Hill’s masterpiece, 48 Hrs, but this one brings enough heat to keep action fans happy.