Miami Vice Reviews
But where has gone the existential dialogue of Heat? Where has gone the audience's quandary in truly feeling for amoral, even immoral, characters--the challenge we so readily accepted in both Heat and Collateral? Where has gone substance?
The answer is that for Vice, style is the substance. Insight caves to sensualism to focus on what we see and hear. With Mann's craftsmanship, sensualism is often entertaining. His atmospherics are flawless. His soundscapes thrust us into the middle of events--but this sensualism is not enough to lift Vice to masterpiece. Its story needs characters that propel the story, not a story that propels the characters, and that is the vice of Vice. Events travel along and we feel they would occur with or without the hand of their participating agents.
The acting convinces, but there is little for the stars to act with. And yet the film is so visually and audibly breathtaking, it must be considered above the pale of most films of its genre. In sum, even with Mann at the helm, craftsmanship is no replacement for genius. Miami Vice is a lesser painting from a proven master.
Nonetheless, a flawed film due to two stars with major issues, hurricanes, and last minute rewrites.