Heat was on last night. Without question, this is my favorite movie of all times.
Heat is a movie starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. De Niro is the criminal, Pacino is the cop.
Both are outstanding at their jobs and develop what I think is a fascinating respect for each other.
The most exciting scene in the movie, of course, is the actual bank robbery, but the most intriguing scene for me is when Pacino pulls De Niro over on the freeway on an evening where Pacino and his crew are actually doing surveillance on De Niro and his crew. Pacino then invites De Niro to meet him at a restaurant for a cup of coffee. De Niro accepts. Pacino then says, “Follow me”. He doesn’t take him into custody (he has no grounds to at this point), but he innately knows De Niro will follow him to the restaurant. And De Niro does.
In their conversation, both men are uncannily alike, though each is on opposite sides of the law. Even though Pacino is a “good guy”, his personal life is still a mess, as is De Niro’s. Their mutual problem is they put every ounce of energy into their work rather than their personal relationships, which are supposed to matter more.
They share personal things about each other’s lives that they have probably never shared with anyone before. The mutual respect each has for each other, though one is a criminal, is obvious, and it can’t be helped; De Niro is very good at what he does as a big time thief and Pacino never fails at catching the bad guy.
Though they respect each other, and in a normal situation would probably be great friends, each makes it clear at the end of the conversation what will happen should their paths cross again outside the peaceful setting of the restaurant. Pacino tells De Niro that if it’s between De Niro living or an innocent person living, Pacino will not hesitate to “take De Niro down”, meaning kill him. De Niro then says the same thing goes for Pacino. He tells him that if Pacino boxes him in or gets in his way (as he is committing his crime), neither will he hesitate to take Pacino down.
I appreciated this scene so much because it’s how I always treated criminals I dealt with on the busy streets of Minneapolis’s north side. I never took it personally that they were the “bad guy” and I was the “good guy”. To me, it was always just business. I still respected the people I had to arrest as people. I never looked down upon them or thought I was better than them.
I have read some books where authors honestly believe we choose our parents. They actually believe that. No, we most certainly do not choose our parents. We are born into families as infants birthed from our parent’s union. They choose to have children, therefore they choose us. It is absolutely not the other way around.
My point is that some of us are fortunate and are born into families of great wealth. Others, less fortunate, are born into absolute poverty and I think the majority of other people fall somewhere in the middle.
Some of us are also very fortunate to be born into families of great intellect and integrity with an outstanding upbringing while other kids only see their parent’s daily examples of various cases of bad influences in all respects of life. I’m not judging here, I’m merely stating a fact.
While it’s not the children’s fault, God put it in each one of us, even as kids, the value of knowing and recognizing right from wrong. That is apparent because when anyone does something wrong or against the law, they do their best to hide it. There’s your proof, there is your evidence.
Anyway, my point here is that no matter what side of the tracks a person grows up on, we are all people and we should respect each other as such.
I never hated the gunman I had to kill, Matthew Murray, nor did I take his actions personally, though he tried to kill me too. I knew innately, that he was a very disturbed, wounded man who’s only intent was to kill those he thought had wronged him.
Like Pacino and De Niro, Matthew and I had the exact same philosophy; I respect you as a human being, but if you get in my way, I will take you down.
Though it would have been ideal that Matthew was caught before he shot those 9 people, killing four of them, and though I respected him as a human being, I would not hesitate to kill him or anyone else who puts me in that situation, again.
I’m not in any way excusing Matthew for killing people. He didn’t do what he did for fame like the Aurora shooter obviously did. But I honestly still have pity in my heart that Matthew was so messed up that his rage fueled him to kill and, as a result he had to die.
I appreciate you reading this, you who did. I know it’s a lengthy blog, but it was on my heart after watching Heat again.
I believe there are many other police officers out there who feel like I do; that God gives each of us free will to make either right choices or wrong ones, but that when we arrest you who make the wrong choices, it’s nothing personal. It’s just business.