Red Heat | Chicago Reader

Red Heat

Like Esther Williams in the 50s, Arnold Schwarzenegger seems fairly auteur-proof as a star, automatically trampling underfoot any director with a personal style and/or vision—in this case, Walter Hill. But thanks to a fairly good script (by Harry Kleiner, Hill, and Troy Kennedy Martin), this thriller about a Soviet cop (Schwarzenegger) sent to Chicago to apprehend a Soviet drug dealer (Ed O'Ross) is a respectable enough star vehicle. (James Belushi plays Schwarzenegger's American partner, and Peter Boyle plays a police commissioner, but the show really belongs to the “Soviet” hero and villain; Belushi is more or less assigned the Gabby Hayes part.) Lurking in the background is a cross-cultural comparison of Soviet and American attitudes that, for once, seems to give the Soviet characters the edge.

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