“CITY HEAT” was made almost two decades ago, when both Burt Reynolds and “Burt Reynolds” were both big box-office attractions. So, the idea of having them both star in the same film looked terrific. The theatrical trailer even looked great! Unfortunately, the script and direction both fail to take advantage of the duo’s strong points, and even with some on-screen chemistry, it can’t cover up an otherwise mediocre film.
The film takes place in the ‘30s during Prohibition, and Eastwood plays tough cop, Lieutenant Speer. Reynolds plays a p.i., out for vengeance after his partner, Richard Roundtree, is killed.
The film has a slick look to it, but not a realistic one. It’s obvious it had a large budget, as everything about it looks well polished, also taking away from the gritty atmosphere it needs. Buried somewhere in “CITY HEAT” is probably a good film. It tries to blend comedy and action, but neither works well here. Unfortunately, even a talented director like Blake Edwards couldn’t make it funnier than what’s offered.
WARNER BROS. has preserved the film’s 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement. The image is generally solid. While the colors aren’t vibrant, they appear in line with the original theatrical release. Contrast is excellent, with great detail in darker scenes. Fleshtones appear natural.
WARNER BROS. has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 remastered mix for this release. While not particularly aggressive, there is a fair share of surround effects, mostly during shoot outs, and there’s even a decent amount of bass. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
The original theatrical trailer is included.