Alright, so a friend and I had a great discussion at lunch today about Mann's films.
Last of the Mohicans, Heat and Collateral all place the "bad guy" in a position to die far too easily.
In the case of Mohicans, we've got Magua who gets killed on screen in like 10-15 seconds. Now, I don't have a problem with this, seeing as he just murded the elder's son right in front of his eyes. Magua deserved a quick and brutal death, but it was still pretty swift and without much of an epic struggle for such a foul antagonist.
Moving on to Heat, we have Robert Deniro dying after his position is given away at the airport. I'd say Pacino had a whole lot of fucking luck on his side to manage that one. Did he deserve as much? There is such a build up, and we really respect Deniro as much as we respect Pacino. It seems like a pretty lame way for Deniro to die given that Pacino himself was full of character flaws.
Finally we arrive at Collatral, a film where Tom Cruise's character is knocked off by another fluke. Jamie Foxx manages to kill his antagonist because the subway lights went out and he got a lucky shot off?
A pattern is emerging here..
I absolutely love Michael Mann's work, but I admit his endings bother me in the case of all three of the films mentioned here. Last of the Mohicans is the most believable and satisfying ending of the three, because Magua has been built up as such a demon that we are glad to see him go. However, in the case of Heat and Collateral, did the bad guys really need to go out like that? It by no means "ruins the movie" for me, but there is something lacking when I've built up a huge amount of respect for Deniro and even Cruise for the films to end so abruptly. The antagonists needed to die, but not like they did..