High Heat
Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Typical action fuels High Heat

Director Zach Golden transitions to the action genre for his sophomore feature, High Heat, from Saban Films. Screenwriter James Pedersen makes his debut with the film. Former KGB operative Ana (Kurylenko) has left that life behind and turned chef. The local mafia targets her newly opened restaurant in order to collect payments on the debts owed to her by her husband, Ray (Don Johnson). 

Having no choice but to embark on a deadly rampage upon the entire crime syndicate, Ana must now rely on her lethal skills to take them one by one to save her restaurant and survive the night.

It is apparent in the film that Ana is a hard-working, ambitious person who is dedicated to her work, ensuring Etoile Rouge’s evening runs without a hitch, which represents the next phase of her life. Her cooking skills are excellent. Her staff knows her instructions, ensuring they all strive towards a common goal. The restaurant’s face is Ray, who works the tables and handles publicity, which makes Ana suspicious, trying to remain anonymous.

First-act characterizations emerge cleanly, and the production uses a Saul Bass-inspired main title sequence to get “High Heat” moving and moody. Our villain Mick’s (Ivan Martin) arrival taints the success of the evening rush. When Ray is pulled in multiple directions, Mick appears dressed like a cable gangster, demanding his attention.

A subplot involves Mimi (Kaitlin Doubleday), Ana’s old friend and fellow killer, who offers to help her pal, accompanied by her husband, Tom (Chris Diamantopoulos). Their marital issues are evident as they approach the restaurant. The couple occupies a large portion of High Heat, which pulls away from Ana’s crisis. There’s an intent to open up the material and include more players. However, the film works best when it’s focused on the significant problem, with threats, gunplay, and a decent human torch stunt. 

High Heat is fun to watch with its 85 minutes and the star power from Johnson. There’s no breathtaking action here, but elements of humor and action make it enjoyable.

 

Final Grade: C +

High Heat is available to stream now.

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