Lowdown: A private detective and his ex police partner battle crime and one another during prohibition days.
The main and probably only thought that passed through my head as I watched 1984’s City Heat is just how low I can go in order to watch a film with Clint Eastwood. This is the case because other than Eastwood’s taking part in it there is not much to be said on behalf of said film.
We follow a slick private detective (Burt Reynolds) and his past police partner (still with the police), Eastwood. Both are living and loving during American prohibition times. Character development is not on the agenda, though: all we know about them is that they currently hate one another yet both still stick up to a good cause when one shows up.
One does show up when a business partner of Reynolds’ gets involved with criminals, gets himself killed, and leaves the heritage for Reynolds to take care of. Eastwood joins the cause when a woman he cares for finds herself in danger as a direct result, and together our two heroes find themselves in the middle of a quarrel for supremacy between two criminal gangs.
The result makes City Heat one of those silly action comedies, only that it doesn’t work in the comedy department because you get the joke about Reynolds and Eastwood’s relationship very quickly. It doesn’t work in the action department either: things are just too silly to be tense.
It's kind of amazing to think a film like City Heat was made during the post Star Wars era, a film with nothing to offer other than star power. Well, at least the film's short. And it’s got Clint Eastwood.
The film starts at this small diner. Reynolds gets himself into a fist fight with some criminals, while Eastwood – who just happened to be there – won’t move a joint to help despite all the chaos around. That is, until one of the crooks spills his drink.
City Heat tries to repeat the joke several times later. It only works the first time around, though.
Overall: Put a tick next to another Eastwood film, but otherwise – totally redundant. 2 out of 5 stars.