It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
There is a sequence at the center of Michael Mann's "Heat" that illuminates the movie's real subject. As it begins, a Los Angeles police detective named Hanna (Al Pacino) has been tracking a high-level thief named McCauley (Robert De Niro) for days. McCauley is smart and wary and seems impossible to trap. So, one evening, tailing McCauley's car, Hanna turns on the flashers and pulls him over.
McCauley carefully shifts the loaded gun he is carrying. He waits in his car. Hanna approaches it and says, "What do you say I buy you a cup of coffee?" McCauley says that sounds like a good idea.
The two men sit across from each other at a Formica table in a diner: Middle-aged, weary, with too much experience in their lines of work, they know exactly what they represent to one other, but for this moment of truce they drink their coffee.
McCauley is a professional thief, skilled and gifted. When Hanna subtly suggests otherwise, he says, "You see me doing thrill-seeker liquor store holdups with a 'Born to Lose' tattoo on my chest?" No, says the cop, he doesn't. The conversation comes to an end. The cop says, "I don't know how to do anything else." The thief says, "Neither do I." The scene concentrates the truth of "Heat," which is that these cops and robbers need each other: They occupy the same space, sealed off from the mainstream of society, defined by its own rules.