Our favourite undercover detectives from the 80’s are back in this update of the TV series. This time around, drug lords and a murder case in South Florida dangerously weave into the personal lives of Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs.
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Top Ten countdown – #10 Digital is mood in Miami Vice; its movement, shadows, and colours are unique. This heavy hyper-real DV style, aptly reflects a narrative of gestures that constitutes the (under)world and characters we follow. A noise-heavy indigo sky, moving speedboats in the dark, silent tears at a club. A nightmare they're forced to inhabit, permeated by the tragic notion that in the end nothing has changed.
Mann's aesthetic concern w/ how digital photography might reveal the material texture of light & darkness is here fused with an almost Wellesian mode of image-making & myth-making. MIAMI VICE is Mann at his most baroque: foregrounds are stressed, compositional depths explode. These characters are mythological titans, towering among cityscapes, glistening across seas, eyes full of quiet emotion, firm resolve, & life.
One of the most mis marketed films in recent years. Mann has trouble finding the narrative drive of his early films amidst the abstractions however the sheer sense of disillusionment/loss underlying what's on the surface a typical cop drama makes for one of the most subversive studio films of the 00's. There's an existentialism to the final shootout that's rarely seen in action films. A must see.
I don't know that I've ever turned around on a film to the extent that I did for Miami Vice. What initially struck me as a hollow, scattershot attempt to rejuvenate a series that was better left in the'80s (along with almost everything that the decade produced). But a second viewing showed me an impressionistic masterpiece. Already climbing up my list of favorites in the few months since my epiphany.
A momentous photographically stunning experience with a surprisingly emotional payoff. Very few directors give guns of any shape or size their deserved respect but Mann films them in such a fresh and unique way it is truly inspiring.
A fascinating experiment which, in hindsight, may have succeeded, especially with the use of digital cameras, if this wasn’t such a dour yet clichéd crime thriller, a story which ends up becoming pretentious and jarring against the moody atmosphere.