Visceral and unflinching. Miami Vice is the most Mannish of Michael Mann films.
A mood piece disguised as an action/crime drama, Vice updates the dated 80's television series for the 00's and is glorious entertainment. Mann's style has rarely been so on display, from his choice of digital to the riveting action sequences, this might be one of his best.
Farrell and Foxx bring great depth to the iconic roles of Crockett and Tubbs and have great chemistry both with each other and the supporting cast. Speaking of which, Gong Li is ravishing as Farrell's love interest Isabella, a harsh business woman with a taste for Cuban nightlife. Everyone here is on top of their game.
Dion Beebe's cinematography is both eye catching and revelatory. I seem to come away from most recent Mann films saying this but the use of digital is a breath of fresh air. Everything is so immediate and in the moment, it all feels so real, which at certain moments can be overwhelming in the best way.
Some have criticized the dialogue mix but I wasn't bothered in the slightest. Some words and even full sentences are unintelligible or inaudible but it works. These are real characters and perhaps some of their exchanges are none of our business in the first place. When talking to someone in real life, in a crowded bar or city street, you don't pick up on every word said and Mann knows this and works it into his films. It's a masterstroke of realism and he should be applauded for it.
Miami Vice is thrilling from beginning to end, culminating inn one of the most brutal gun fights of the last ten years. It's a high point for crime cinema and comes with the highest of recommends.
Just check your expectations at the door.