Miami Vice embodies this very particular ‘calm before the storm’ feel to it that defines a lot of Michael Mann’s films, and makes them so special in amongst the unfortunately often monotonous action genre, taking copious time to establish tone, characters and the world they occupy, so that when the guns finally go off, it feels like you’re letting loose, and you can really take it all in.
The film is perpetually relying on not so much a knowledge of what came before and will come after, but a knowledge that something has come before, and something will come after – it feels like an entry into an anthology almost, with a past and ultimately a future that you know is there but is deliberately obscured, and this could easily be levied as a critique of the film (relying on details and histories that we’re not immediately aware of) but I personally found it to be really compelling, almost forcing you to intuit and hypothesise all that isn’t disclosed to you.
I’d be hard pressed to pretend that, at least at first, Dion Beebe’s digital cinematography wasn’t pretty grating, but once you get over that initial stumbling block, you can gladly sit back and just take in the moody, visual extravaganza that is this film. It’s just so rich in atmosphere and, for lack of a better word, it’s just really freaking cool. One also may be wary before going in, but trust me, Colin Farrell does in fact pull off his mullet, extraordinarily well in fact. Him and Jamie Foxx make for such a suave, killer duo, and practically every scene they have together is a real pleasure to watch.
As I’m sure most have, I’ve seen this film get a whole lot of flack from every which direction, and although I can (on some level) understand practically all of it, I also have to be honest and say that I had a genuinely great time with this film, from start to finish, so take that as you will.