Director: Zach Golden
Cast: Olga Kurylenko and Don Johnson
Genre: Action Thriller
Cinematography: Adam Lee
Music: Max Di Carlo
Streaming: Prime Video
A former KGB operative turned chef uses her lethal skills to save her restaurant from a local crime syndicate that’s out to collect on her husband’s debt.
High Heat 2022 Movie 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 found the film more akin to A Long Kiss Goodnight with Geena Davis.
I 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, 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 much smaller in scale.
There are some impressive fights and gun battles, but they’re rather brief. I was surprised at how little they showed off Kurylenko’s abilities. She and Don Johnson, while presented as the film’s leads, don’t feel like it. They’re stuck in the restaurant and parking garage for the majority of the film.
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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 highlights how far the technology has come through the years. We see this guy fully burning, with his face in fully in the frame and it is glorious. But that’s 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.
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I was more invested in his survival than any other character. All of the High Hears subplots are a lot more interesting than the main story. This is too bad because the idea of a Russian assassin turned chef seems like it’d be more interesting than it ends up being.
Verdict: High Heat 2022 Movie Review
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 hysterical in his limited role. While it’s likely to be among 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.