Following his masterful role in DELIVERANCE, Burt Reynolds vowed he would never again work as hard as he did in that film. He has continued to keep that promise in HEAT. Mex Escalante (Reynolds) is a self-assured, all-knowing Las Vegas bodyguard. Holly (Karen Young), a hooker who has been
roughed up by Danny DeMarco (Neill Barry), the psychopathic son of a Mafia don, asks for Mex's help in getting revenge. Meanwhile, Cyrus Kinnick (Peter MacNicol), a clean-cut computer wizard, hires Mex first as his chaperon to make the rounds of the casinos and later to teach him self-defense.
Naturally, taking revenge on a sadistic Mafiosa leads to trouble. This stroll-through role for Reynolds did nothing to aid a sagging career. There's not much going on here except an endless string of dull cliches about gambling addicts trying to salvage their lives, noble-hearted whores, and a
lowlife society that does little to improve Las Vegas' image as a plastic playground for the middle class. Once again Reynolds holds himself up as a generous but tough character. He did prove he was tough on the set of HEAT, at least, by knocking director Dick Richards unconscious over a
directorial point. Richards later filed suit against the actor over the incident.
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