Miami Vice - Miami is nice so I'll say it thrice
| I will start out by saying that I have never watched an episode of the television series Miami Vice. I know thatís a bit hard to believe. I mean, whoís never seen Miami Vice? Well, I havenít. I guess I just always had better things to watch. Therefore this review isnít going to be a comparison of the film to the series. I couldnít care less. What Iím going to talk about is my reaction to the film.
Michael Mann makes movies for adults. The director of The Insider, Manhunter, Collateral and my favourite Heat shoots Ďem glossy but fills Ďem full of ideas, emotions and issues, the kinds of issues adults have. Surprisingly, as I donít have high expectations for TV adaptations, Miami Vice is no exception.
While lighter than most of Mannís films, Miami Vice is still an adult film. Itís got a fairly typical hard boiled cops and robbers plot but Mann manages to fill it with emotional resonance. Sure itís just enough to resonate for this genre and no where near the emotional kick of say Heat, but still he gets you there.
For example, the sex scenes are erotic without being titillating or provocative. Instead they serve the purpose of character development. Instead of being there to make our heroes into studs that we wish we were, they deepen the emotional impact of the story as it progresses. Also, Mann repeats images from each as a way of connecting these feelings. Itís a little thing but these are the kinds of touches that infuse the film with something more grown-up. Miami Vice is an action film for adults.
Then there is the style. Miami Vice is dripping in it. Mannís films are always beautiful to watch but this one takes it over the top. Again, it fits. It adds romance to the whole pulpy mess and gives it a ďMiami ViceĒ feeling for lack of a better phrase. Itís what gives the film its signature without distracting from the story.
Also, Colin Farrell and Gong Li make one of the hottest screen couples of the year.
Miami Vice isnít going to change the world. Itís just a fun action flick that involves you and asks you to use your mind a little along the way.
One thing it has in common with the TV show that Iíve never seen, it is most likely best viewed on the small screen where the intimacy Mann is trying to create can be better achieved.