What could have been an interesting and funny period piece under the directorship of original screenwriter Edwards is turned into a tedious, infantile mess by director Benjamin. CITY HEAT is set in Kansas City in 1933. Police detective Eastwood is now on bad terms with his former
partner, Reynolds, who has turned in his badge for the trenchcoat of a private eye. Business is lousy, however, and when his partner, Roundtree, shows up with a huge wad of cash, Reynolds suspects things aren't quite on the up-and-up. Swift has pulled a double cross on rival mobsters Lo Bianco and
Torn. When Roundtree is killed by Torn, Reynolds sets out to avenge his partner. Eastwood, meanwhile, tails Reynolds in hopes of ruining both Lo Bianco and Torn. Half the reason CITY HEAT isn't as funny as it should be is the extreme and sadistic violence that Benjamin tries to pass off as humor.
The violent scenes are obviously inserted to make up for the totally flat and unfunny dialog. Most shocking of all are the lazy performances from both Reynolds and Eastwood. The only things that work in this disaster are the costume and set designs, which are really quite impressive.
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