High Heat Review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI99znHM6Ug

PLOT: When the local mafia shows up to burn down her restaurant, Ana, a chef with a meticulous past, defends her turf and proves her knife skills both in and out of the kitchen.

REVIEW: Given the premise, I’m sure High Heat will get some immediate comparisons to John Wick. I guess that’s just a given for any movie that features a former assassin trying to live a new life, only to be brought back in. But I actually found the film more akin to A Long Kiss Goodnight with Geena Davis.

I really enjoyed the almost James Bond-style credit sequence, complete with a 60’s animation style. But as much as I liked that, it almost felt like a bit of a lie. This is no spy thriller, and we don’t even get much of a history of those spy days. Instead, High Heat feels like a lesson in stubbornness. Ana (Olga Kurylenko) is so stubborn in having her restaurant, that she won’t just let it burn down, in order to save herself and her husband. Dom (Dallas Page) is so dead set on burning down the bar, that he loses so many men and so much money in the process.

Don’t be fooled by its action packed trailer, High Heat is definitely much smaller in scale. There are some impressive fights and gun battles, but they’re rather brief. In fact, I was surprised at how little they really showed off Kurylenko’s abilities. Her and Don Johnson, while presented as the film’s leads, don’t really feel like it. They’re stuck in the restaurant and parking garage from the majority of the film. But despite this, I still had a fun time with it. When the action scenes hit, they’re well done, with a hard hitting sound design. They’re just far too brief and simple. I wanted to see Ana’s skills more on display.

It’s got all of the hallmarks of any entertaining action film: bozo henchmen who can’t seem to do anything right for comedic effect, and a beautiful yet deadly former assassin. There’s a great fire stunt, which really highlights how far the technology has come through the years. We see this guy fully burning, with his face in fully in frame and it is glorious. But that’s really the only stunt that stood out. Everything else is fairly by the numbers.

Chris Diamantopoulos was probably my favorite character in the whole film. Every time he was on screen, there were laughs to be had. I could have watched a whole movie following him and Kaitlin Doubleday. There’s also a really fun subplot with Gary the Masseuse. I was more invested in his survival than any other character. In fact, all of High Heat‘s subplots are a lot more interesting than the main story. This is really too bad because the idea of a Russian assassin turned chef seems like it’d be more interesting than it ends up being.

High Heat is a rather low stakes action film but it’s a lot of dumb fun. Don Johnson is having the time of his life and Olga Kurylenko is getting to flex her acting muscles a little bit more. But the real standout is Chris Diamantopoulos, who was absolutely hysterical in his limited role. While it’s likely to be amongst the many forgotten action flicks that release each year, this one is at least competently made. Which is more than can be said for most.

High Heat is In Theaters, on Digital, and On Demand December 16, 2022

Olga Kurylenko

AVERAGE

6

About the Author

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Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on JoBlo.com, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.