Miami Vice Reviews

  • 2d ago

    Heat, this is not. Some interesting visuals fail to make up for a lackluster plot that seems to be trying too hard to shoehorn in 'cool' elements.

    Heat, this is not. Some interesting visuals fail to make up for a lackluster plot that seems to be trying too hard to shoehorn in 'cool' elements.

  • Feb 18, 2020

    Nothing Michael Mann does is by accident. And so Miami Vice, much more an experience of multiple textures and incinuations than a straight movie, is rife with intentional and carefully manicured accidents. A ruthless efficiency of plot and dialogue is at work here, a glance at the script, written by Mann, versus what has made it to screen, shows a clear paring down and distilling so that just the potent vapour remains. This also means that when a shot lingers or an offbeat moment occurs it's made more pointed; if nothing is an accident from Mann, master filmmaker and a perfectionist, then when a line of dialogue with the car noise so loud you can hardly hear it, and instead you end up looking at the actor's face instead and it speaks volumes louder, it makes for a painterly movie; something on a standard canvas but with bits of twig or curtain stuck on to it or sea salt mixed in the with blue paint. Only this way, Mann paints his movie with the jarring iconography of a sports car, or a beautiful Chinese actress amidst the Colombian cartel, or Farrell's out-of-time moustache, or the absolute calmness and stillness of his leads in the wake of so much bedlam. Miami Vice's opening drops you straight in like it's the two-part finale to a TV series. It has the urgency, brevity and supposed audience trust that a long-running show would have. And in many ways it's right to do so; Mann uses the themes, plots and locations in broad sweeping arcs to paint us into a narrative we've seen before only to deliver it to us in a new way. It's like a ballet adaptation of The Wire or Swan Lake the graphic novel, it's something we know well done over anew. And Mann's full-tilt-digital approach is the biggest tool he uses, the beautiful, dangerous night photography, where you can practically feel that muggy heat, it's hard to overstate how shockingly unique and immediate the film felt at the time. In fact, Miami Vice has been the single greatest cinematic experience I've ever had. The film is flawed, the way any great experimental masterpiece is, but when I sat in that cinema the first time with its abrupt beginning and abrupt end, I felt truly transported. Or rather enveloped. I wasn't moved by the story or the characters, but by the absolute bravura filmmaking quality, the film as a whole, in a way that I've only ever been drawn in and hypnotised by a few paintings I've seen in a few art galleries. It's cool without being uber masculine. Epic without being cheesy. Despite the fast cars and the personal stakes, it is the antithesis of Bad Boys 2; Seldom do we see a sex scene stop and then turn on to another one at the right time for the couple. Few moments in any film come close to the moment Alonso looks over them and their faces, sad but detached, and how culpable and responsible they are for the death of his loved ones, and so he looks to the flowing ribbons on the freeway and cuts himself to pieces on the front of a truck. Disturbing and sorrowful and inevitable. A beat, later on, during a meeting and Sonny looks out to the sea as if prophesizing one of his possible futures. The water a mirror for his aching loneliness, when he does shack up with his equal and opposite, it doesn't seem so dangerous and so odd, as much as it feels necessary and natural. Before this film I'd never seen a gunfight that felt as if I was there. An ahead of its time kineticism pervades each encounter that makes it feel comfortably videogamey, that stealth sequence at the trailer park is a thing of beauty. Instead of shouty men that act out and smash things, the men here are professionals, they have his girl, just like pros, they plan, they prep, they act, they get her back. They know they can get her back if they work hard and they're smart. Although leaving her in the building is a little stupid and contrived. There are other glaring flaws. Gong Li for one. But like many paintings rated for their quality, or like a jewel of merit, it's their flaws that make it special. While Gong Li's sports a thick accent and phonetically learned English lines, her scared, overwhelmed face portrays and betrays a vulnerability, a cuteness and sweetness. It's believable that she may have been the wrong girl at the right time and made a life for herself somewhere where she maybe shouldn't have ever been. Miami Vice is a movie made for the night. It's a movie with an ending, the simplicity of which was lost on me the first few times, it's a movie about love and connection. Before Sonny sends Isabella away the camera shows us the empty bed, the place they would reside in, in another life. Or maybe it's a promise of the life they will have when all this has passed. The camera drifts the door and outside Sonny sends his love away, across the sea, and he once again feels the feeling he did at the start of the movie. But he's not in despair because of the love for his partner and his partner's love for his girlfriend. The purpose that binds them all together. Not many action buddy cop movies about drug traffickers lets the bad guy go free and ends the film with a man walking in to a hospital to support his friend. Miami vice will, instead of an explanation, use a look. It uses the lexicon of cinema to shortcut us past the cliché and to the moment. We construct it in our heads and feel smarter than if it is shown. And in that way, it is much more a symbolist painting, something in three dimensions and Michael Mann's magnum opus, than yet another simple reboot of an old TV show.

    Nothing Michael Mann does is by accident. And so Miami Vice, much more an experience of multiple textures and incinuations than a straight movie, is rife with intentional and carefully manicured accidents. A ruthless efficiency of plot and dialogue is at work here, a glance at the script, written by Mann, versus what has made it to screen, shows a clear paring down and distilling so that just the potent vapour remains. This also means that when a shot lingers or an offbeat moment occurs it's made more pointed; if nothing is an accident from Mann, master filmmaker and a perfectionist, then when a line of dialogue with the car noise so loud you can hardly hear it, and instead you end up looking at the actor's face instead and it speaks volumes louder, it makes for a painterly movie; something on a standard canvas but with bits of twig or curtain stuck on to it or sea salt mixed in the with blue paint. Only this way, Mann paints his movie with the jarring iconography of a sports car, or a beautiful Chinese actress amidst the Colombian cartel, or Farrell's out-of-time moustache, or the absolute calmness and stillness of his leads in the wake of so much bedlam. Miami Vice's opening drops you straight in like it's the two-part finale to a TV series. It has the urgency, brevity and supposed audience trust that a long-running show would have. And in many ways it's right to do so; Mann uses the themes, plots and locations in broad sweeping arcs to paint us into a narrative we've seen before only to deliver it to us in a new way. It's like a ballet adaptation of The Wire or Swan Lake the graphic novel, it's something we know well done over anew. And Mann's full-tilt-digital approach is the biggest tool he uses, the beautiful, dangerous night photography, where you can practically feel that muggy heat, it's hard to overstate how shockingly unique and immediate the film felt at the time. In fact, Miami Vice has been the single greatest cinematic experience I've ever had. The film is flawed, the way any great experimental masterpiece is, but when I sat in that cinema the first time with its abrupt beginning and abrupt end, I felt truly transported. Or rather enveloped. I wasn't moved by the story or the characters, but by the absolute bravura filmmaking quality, the film as a whole, in a way that I've only ever been drawn in and hypnotised by a few paintings I've seen in a few art galleries. It's cool without being uber masculine. Epic without being cheesy. Despite the fast cars and the personal stakes, it is the antithesis of Bad Boys 2; Seldom do we see a sex scene stop and then turn on to another one at the right time for the couple. Few moments in any film come close to the moment Alonso looks over them and their faces, sad but detached, and how culpable and responsible they are for the death of his loved ones, and so he looks to the flowing ribbons on the freeway and cuts himself to pieces on the front of a truck. Disturbing and sorrowful and inevitable. A beat, later on, during a meeting and Sonny looks out to the sea as if prophesizing one of his possible futures. The water a mirror for his aching loneliness, when he does shack up with his equal and opposite, it doesn't seem so dangerous and so odd, as much as it feels necessary and natural. Before this film I'd never seen a gunfight that felt as if I was there. An ahead of its time kineticism pervades each encounter that makes it feel comfortably videogamey, that stealth sequence at the trailer park is a thing of beauty. Instead of shouty men that act out and smash things, the men here are professionals, they have his girl, just like pros, they plan, they prep, they act, they get her back. They know they can get her back if they work hard and they're smart. Although leaving her in the building is a little stupid and contrived. There are other glaring flaws. Gong Li for one. But like many paintings rated for their quality, or like a jewel of merit, it's their flaws that make it special. While Gong Li's sports a thick accent and phonetically learned English lines, her scared, overwhelmed face portrays and betrays a vulnerability, a cuteness and sweetness. It's believable that she may have been the wrong girl at the right time and made a life for herself somewhere where she maybe shouldn't have ever been. Miami Vice is a movie made for the night. It's a movie with an ending, the simplicity of which was lost on me the first few times, it's a movie about love and connection. Before Sonny sends Isabella away the camera shows us the empty bed, the place they would reside in, in another life. Or maybe it's a promise of the life they will have when all this has passed. The camera drifts the door and outside Sonny sends his love away, across the sea, and he once again feels the feeling he did at the start of the movie. But he's not in despair because of the love for his partner and his partner's love for his girlfriend. The purpose that binds them all together. Not many action buddy cop movies about drug traffickers lets the bad guy go free and ends the film with a man walking in to a hospital to support his friend. Miami vice will, instead of an explanation, use a look. It uses the lexicon of cinema to shortcut us past the cliché and to the moment. We construct it in our heads and feel smarter than if it is shown. And in that way, it is much more a symbolist painting, something in three dimensions and Michael Mann's magnum opus, than yet another simple reboot of an old TV show.

  • Feb 16, 2020

    Such a snooze fest of a movie. It’s beautifully shot but the main actors lack the charisma that the tv series had.

    Such a snooze fest of a movie. It’s beautifully shot but the main actors lack the charisma that the tv series had.

  • Jan 20, 2020

    Story line kinda lacks and attention to small details are a huge thing for me and this movie lacks it. But cinematography and location was excellent. Also Director Mann action scenes were innovative. And the soundtrack was awesome. I still listen to many songs frequently.

    Story line kinda lacks and attention to small details are a huge thing for me and this movie lacks it. But cinematography and location was excellent. Also Director Mann action scenes were innovative. And the soundtrack was awesome. I still listen to many songs frequently.

  • Jan 10, 2020

    Can't mess with the original....

    Can't mess with the original....

  • Dec 29, 2019

    Fabulous Movie ..Colin Farrel Looks Amazing in this Movie

    Fabulous Movie ..Colin Farrel Looks Amazing in this Movie

  • Oct 30, 2019

    Good cast and fast-paced story, but, I'm not sure that it all meshed together. Didn't really seem to care about the characters.

    Good cast and fast-paced story, but, I'm not sure that it all meshed together. Didn't really seem to care about the characters.

  • Oct 30, 2019

    First half: suspense is starting: second half: the film loses its way: the third and last half: we are back on track for the epic showdown

    First half: suspense is starting: second half: the film loses its way: the third and last half: we are back on track for the epic showdown

  • Sep 29, 2019

    Watched it out of my love for Miami. It was not the greatest movie, but happy I have seen it.

    Watched it out of my love for Miami. It was not the greatest movie, but happy I have seen it.

  • Sep 03, 2019

    Great movie. The soundtrack is one of the best I've heard.

    Great movie. The soundtrack is one of the best I've heard.