Thursday, June 28, 2007

L.A. Heat

Joseph Merhi | 1989 | 85 mins | USA

To be perfectly honest, I can't say much about L.A. Heat because I slept through a large chunk of the film. However, within the first 20 minutes or so, I gleaned that it's about a tough L.A. cop named Chance who dreams of living in the wild west, honour-bound by the cowboy code. Seriously. If you need anything else to convince you that L.A. Heat is worth your time, please consider the fact that Chance is played by "Boom Boom" Washington from Welcome Back Kotter. Even after I fell asleep, a blend of on-screen expolsions and the enthusiastic reactions of my film watching pals seems to have permeated my consciousness, because I awoke feeling like I truly understood the essence of L.A. Heat.

Basically, what I'm saying is this: the gritty realism of this script, coupled with the finely tuned, searing performances from "Boom Boom" and others create a layered, complex narrative about a man caught in a place and time that can neither understand nor appreciate his sense of honour or his wounded warrior's heart.

Pretty much, the only flaw was that the DVD copy we were watching had been heavily censored for language. Even the word 'crap' was conspicuously missing from the captain's impassioned rants. Otherwise, this film was pure cinema. I can hardly wait to watch the sequel, L.A. Vice.

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