Red Heat | James Horner
Director Walter Hill’s 1988 buddy action-comedy procedural aims for a similar chemistry to his 1982 hit 48 Hours, this time with Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Belushi as the mismatched duo – a Russian policeman and a Chicago cop forced to work together to capture a renegade Georgian drug kingpin loose on the streets of the Windy City.
As part of Walter Hill’s successful 48 Hours team, composer James Horner comes to Red Heat already knowing the territory. In like fashion, Horner’s score here traffics in many of the same motifs – rhythmic action and suspense cues mingled with modified modern jazz riffs – with heavy added doses of traditional Russian orchestral and choral music, oftentimes employed to intentionally comedic excess (“Russian Streets,” “Bus Station”). In the end, however, it ranks as one of Horner’s more subdued exercises, purposely taking a back seat to the film’s personalities and unpredictable cavalcade of action set pieces.
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