Red Heat

Walter Hill’s Red Heat was one of the first films from western countries to be shot in Russia back in the 80s, of course it’s not all set there. There are a few key sequences (that actually look great and really add flavour).

The film is still really popular in Russia, chiefly because the delivery of the Russian dialogue is so shockingly bad to native ears.

Jim Belushi is not very good in the film; he’s okay, but pitched a little bit too loud. By comparison this is one the few movies where Arnold does act a bit – acting in a wooden Indian style that’s worked well for Clint Eastwood.

This film is top popcorn entertainment, and plays nicely against the Glasnost policies of the time. The script is great fun – as you’d expect from the writer of the Italian Job. Hill’s direction is tough, quick cutting and at its best in the Russian sequences.

I have a Russian pal who’s a great fan of the film; the script is pretty quotable in an Arnie ‘I’ll be back’ kind of way.

Again, this is a film that I grew up watching, and children still love it today. It’s funny how kids react to Arnie, and something that was later picked up in Kindergarten Cop.

Anyway, this is Walter Hill, guns, cops and big car crashes, but it does poke some gentle fun at what went on behind the iron curtain.

So, 70 films to go…

Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.