September 27, 2017

Revisiting Miami Vice (2006)

Miami Vice is widely regarded as one of director Michael Mann’s weaker efforts and I suppose it is if you compare it to the likes of Heat, Collateral and Thief but even an average Michael Mann film is better than most other directors. Not that I normally care about Rotten Tomatoes but it was considered “rotten” at the time with critics sitting at 47% on the site.

When it first came out I wasn’t a fan of Miami Vice either and I think I even gave it 2.5 stars out of 5. I picked it up on Blu-ray as I’m a Mann completist and have watched it a few times since and I find something more to enjoy with every viewing.

As expected it looks amazing with the beautiful aerial shots stretching into infinity and it’s arguably one of Mann’s best looking movies. The speedboat shots also really stood out as some of the best committed to film and I think we need more speedboat chases in our action cinema.

Some of the flaws I still stand by like much of the dialogue is incoherent (mostly from Jamie Foxx) and I still require subtitles on for the majority of the film. It also bothered me that we never got a new version of Crockett’s Theme. We got a sort of nod in the score but it was ripe for an update and felt like a missed opportunity. The music is still excellent though with electric guitar-flavoured epicness which only adds to the atmosphere and style.

I liked Colin Farrell as Crockett (despite lacking a bit of personality in the role) but I’m still not a fan of Jamie Foxx as he always seems to mumble as previously stated; he does OK here though and I think both actors bring a modern twist to proceedings. They don’t have the same chemistry as the cast from the original TV series but Mann at least tries something a little different.

It’s the character’s personal lives and how they become spliced with their jobs which causes the most drama and also keeps the characters interesting. As with the majority of Mann films his leads are men whose jobs are a part of them and are obsessed with their careers. 

I still say it takes itself far too seriously though and could have used a bit more humour but it certainly feels a little more authentic than your average cop movie.

The climactic shoot-out is impressive and although it doesn’t quite match the classic status of Heat it’s still well executed and visceral. The action never happens just for the sake of it and there’s always a reason for it.

The story gets quite tense at times (even if it is a little under developed) and there is enough to keep you interested throughout although Crockett’s romance with a drug dealer’s lady (played by Gong Li) isn’t all that interesting.

I’m not sure what the point of this article is; it’s just me putting my current thoughts down about the movie and that Miami Vice is definitely growing on me. Thief remains my favourite Michael Mann movie but this is definitely worth a rewatch.

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel

I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it’s a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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