***/**** Image B+ Sound B+ Extras B
starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Belushi, Peter Boyle, Ed O'Ross
screenplay by Harry Kleiner & Walter Hill and Troy Kennedy Martin
directed by Walter Hill
by Bryant Frazer The first, pre-credits scene of Red Heat takes place in a Russian banya, a steam bath where hulking, Vulcanian workers in grimy T-shirts labour to shovel wood and coal into massive stoves that keep the water hot and the room steamy. The camera follows a blue-eyed man as he steps into the room, assuming his POV as he surveys the tableau. A whole section of the space is dedicated to barely-clad muscled men pumping iron, and the camera lingers on them. It pans slowly across the room before finding a group of nymphs bathing au naturel, zooming in and reframing, finally deciding it's not interested in them. The blue-eyed man turns his head, catching sight of a figure across the room. It's Schwarzenegger, about one square foot of fabric shy of nudity, striding confidently past the bathing beauties before stepping up into a side chamber and disappearing again into the haze. The next shot catches Arnold in medium close-up, tilting lazily from his calves all the way up his chiselled torso, until it frames him in flattering low-angle portraiture. He is squinting, and he is scowling, and he has an Ivan Drago flat-top. This is peak Arnold. The reverse shot lands, almost hilariously, on a group of a half-dozen nude and nearly-nude bathers, all pink and vulnerable in their skin, gazing back at him, excited or terrified or maybe both. It's as if a god stands before them.