Miami Vice de Michael Mann (2006)
Very underrated when it came out, this adaptation to the big screen of one of the most successful television series of the 1980's; Miami Vice disappointed many moviegoers that waited for a Lethal Weapon kinda crime/comedy movie. The comedic side is never exploited in this Michael Mann film. It may be one of the precursors of the return to the 80's of the end of the last decade. In fashion, style and culture this comeback to the years when my generation was born is something more close to commercial nostalgia than simple return to basics. The 80's were a decade where "more is more" paraphrasing Mies Van Der Rohe's "Less is More". Mann's Miami Vice is an underrated masterpiece like William Friedkin's underrated To Live and Die in L.A. and you know what? this last one was made in the 80's!!!
Miami Vice is the classic cop story where two partners are going undercover in the drug dealing underworld to find the bad guys who killed their partner. At this point there's nothing really new, but as long as the story goes the multi layered plot of these two cops/friends just got better and better. Mann wants us to pay attention to every detail of the film: the many eyes we can see on posters, graffitis, paintings and the recurring thunders in the sky at crucial moments of the movie everything is precisely put in place for a reason.
The styled and uncluttered cinematography lighted with crude and natural light gives a sense of reality to the images of the film and to the choices of unusual frames that gives a subtil artistic touch to the simplistic yet modern sets.
Brilliantly cast with a strong as always Jamie Foxx and the sometimes categorized as uneven Colin Farrel that gives one of his best nuanced performances in Miami Vice. Like the story, their characters are strong and multi layered in emotions. Their friendship is unshakable and even when literally sleeping with the devil they stand together.
Of being one of the commercial flops of the summer of 2006 Miami Vice stands strong and may be one of the center movies of Michael Mann's filmography with Heat, Collateral and The Insider. This is the kind of film I can watch again and again for its interesting story as for its filmic qualities.
A Movie Review by Michaël Parent