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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
To the undiscerning eye this little film is just a low budget trailer for Michael Mann's blockbuster Heat - it doesn't have the special effects, the soundtrack, the big stars etc etc - what it does have is a dynamite script that blows Heat out of the water. Forget about the fact that you are watching a movie made on a shoe string and open your mind - this is hard boiled...
Published on 9 April 2006 by Mr. F. I. Dudaniec

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A landmark to the cops and robbers genre
Micheal Mann's cops and robbers thriller, also a trailer copy to the by far superior "Heat". This version however, contains all the original elements and moments that are enough to match its 1995 classic. Despite L.A.s shoddy acting and at times shaky script! it has an impressive storyline which is enough to make this a true landmark to the cops and robbers...
Published on 13 Aug 2000


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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 9 April 2006
This review is from: L.A. Takedown [DVD] (DVD)
To the undiscerning eye this little film is just a low budget trailer for Michael Mann's blockbuster Heat - it doesn't have the special effects, the soundtrack, the big stars etc etc - what it does have is a dynamite script that blows Heat out of the water. Forget about the fact that you are watching a movie made on a shoe string and open your mind - this is hard boiled drama, old school, trim, sharp, condensed. Nobody has written films like this in the last twenty years.
Added to which, Takedown is a more accessible film than Heat, it's younger, less cynical, it's characters love and feel and have emotional lives. The ending is a superb departure from the predictable good guy shoots bad guy charade that Heat, unfortunately sells out to. Above all, Takedown is free from the obesities of Heat, the myriad of tedious subplots, the shamefully theatrical 'Pacino show' that undermines the dramatic flow of Heat at every turn.
If you want to experience film, indeed life, you need to start looking beyond the surface, if you are up to the challenge, this film is the best place to start - a screenwriting masterclass and a real 'megablast'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars L.A. Takedown, 3 Jan 2014
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This review is from: L.A. Takedown [DVD] (DVD)
Received in Excellent order and an excellent film just what I wanted to make the day seem normal after a takedown in L.A.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The briliant precursor, 28 Dec 2013
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This review is from: L.A. Takedown [DVD] (DVD)
Michael Mann's first draft would satisfy many but not this craftsman. So here is the script and the film that was transformed into "Heat" that had higher profile actors and a bigger budget. Looking for directorial inspiration and atmospheric acting? Well here it is.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A landmark to the cops and robbers genre, 13 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: L.A. Takedown [DVD] (DVD)
Micheal Mann's cops and robbers thriller, also a trailer copy to the by far superior "Heat". This version however, contains all the original elements and moments that are enough to match its 1995 classic. Despite L.A.s shoddy acting and at times shaky script! it has an impressive storyline which is enough to make this a true landmark to the cops and robbers genre. Starring Scott Plank.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars LA Takedown the pre release for heat., 31 Mar 2003
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Brian O'Donoghue (Hereford, Herefordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: L.A. Takedown [DVD] (DVD)
I have watched this and Heat. If you own both watch this first. The story is the same, with a few minor changes. The characters in this lack punch, but it is still a good film. The film is a fairly mundane robbers and cops. Only after watching Heat can you see the dramatic improvment. This is a TV Movie and it does suffer for it. This is not a problem but it does show the difference from TV Movie and Cinema. I would recomend this to Michael Mann buffs.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie all round., 26 Oct 2009
This review is from: L.A. Takedown [DVD] (DVD)
This movie, as a precursor to the overly stylized Heat rendition, is far and away superior to the latter. It has great spontaneity, pace, and a humanity that was distinctly lacking from Heat. These are real (main lead) credible characters put into in an incredible encounter. Any film buff and someone seeking a terrific yarn would find this great entertainment in every sense. Highly recommended.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars in some ways better than Heat, 18 April 2005
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Elberry (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: L.A. Takedown [DVD] (DVD)
Don't be deceived by the haphazard camerawork (it was shot in 2 weeks), lowgrade cinematography, appalling soundtrack, and funny-looking 80s actors: for this is in some ways better than 'Heat'. The script is tight, with some classic Mann lines, e.g. "this guy's a megablast", and mercifully without the indulgent subplots of 'Heat' (the getaway driver's life, Hanna's daughter-in-law, etc.). Whereas, for me, 'Heat' loses its power after the climactic bank robbery & thereafter dwindles & meanders, 'LA Takedown' accelerates to a Sophocleslike conclusion - far superior to the Hollywood-prescribed ending of 'Heat'.
Plank is better than Pacino - wooden, sure, but occasionally human, often passionate without affectation, and anyway he doesn't strut about shouting and chewing gum like that damn midget Pacino.
McArthur is as good as DeNiro in the role, for different reasons - younger, stranger, with a contained, controlled anguish that comes out beautifully in his line "you want to know where i'm from? i'm from where the needle starts at zero and goes the other way." You know he's seen some weirdness.
Also this version is memorable for The Lilian, as this type of throat jab is now known in the Bradford underworld. Highly recommended for Mann buffs & anyone with a love of good scriptwriting.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars L.A. Takedown, 18 Dec 2012
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This review is from: L.A. Takedown [DVD] (DVD)
A cracking movie. Superior in many respects to the remake 'Heat'.
Enjoyment spoilt entirely by poor quality and 'missing bits' in the DVD.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Michael Mann, 1 Jan 2012
This review is from: L.A. Takedown [DVD] (DVD)
I can't believe i am awarding one star to a Michael Mann movie. Well i have no choice. This 'movie' LA Takedown is a pile of rubbish. I honestly beleive my IQ was reduced whilst watching it. It was made in 1990 just before the brilliant 'Last of the Mohicans'. Mann eventually went onto direct 'Heat' in the mid 1990's which is basically the full version of LA Takedown (Heat runs for over 2 hours long).

LA Takedown came out as a leaner and sharper script with more (unfortuneately) unengaging and unsympathetic characters. LA Takedown is a poor TV movie. And yes you could argue 'Heat' is bloated with substories, and Pacino's HooHa performance is irritating, but Heat is still a masterpiece thriller.

LA Takedown, with its low-budget production values, is nonsense. It is an unintentional hoot for me - it makes me laugh and cring.From the New York Times: 'As Heat progresses, its sensational looks pale beside storytelling weaknesses that expose' the more souless aspects of this cat-and-mouse crime tale...'
Yeah, and what would they write about LA Takedown?
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars From the ridiculous to the sublime, 14 Dec 2011
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This review is from: L.A. Takedown [DVD] (DVD)
I remember watching this beaut shortly before the much anticipated cinema release of Heat. It's good to reflect that Michael Mann expended all his clunkers and ironed out the gremlins on this truly lame TV dinner effort. Looking like it took a whole wet Wednesday afternoon to shoot, at a cost of at least 37 quid, it features two eye wateringly bad performances by Alex McArthur and the-couldn't-have-named-him better-myself Scott Plank. Whilst the plotline clearly has legs, before being refined and developed for the colossally superior Heat, I couldn't get past the dead-eyed pulse-free leads (think much drearier versions - if your imagination can stretch that many light years - of Edward James Olmos and David Caruso, and you're in the right ball park). With sets that would give Acorn Antiques's wobbly walls a run for their money, Takedown is worth viewing only for the duckling to a swan backstory compared to its illustrious big brother. Despite what some may say, Mann absolutely nailed it with the pacy and action packed Heat, underpinned by two truly memorable performances (mannered and shouty as they may have well been, at times) from the peerless Pacino and Di Niro. Verdict: for Mann completists (and fans of unintentional comedy) only.
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L.A. Takedown [DVD]
L.A. Takedown [DVD] by Michael Mann (DVD - 2000)
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