Jeff Reichert‘s appreciation of Miami Vice, posted on 1.2.07 as part of Reverse Shot’s Ten Best of ’06 rundown , is one of the best I’ve read anywhere ever:
“How’s this for totally subverting genre expectations: an action movie in which obligatory sex wraps itself in true sensuousness and emotion, and where the required violence is sketched nearly as an afterthought — and a brutish, crude, and ugly one at that? It’s a bummer that this kind of turnabout even needs mentioning, but the aesthetics of violence in film often go so shamefully unquestioned that in Michael Mann‘s hands a little probing ends up as practically revelatory.
“But seriousness of revisionist purpose isn’t the main course here, even if it provides a ready answer for why Miami Vice is so valuable. A few months on, I’d be hard-pressed to tell you exactly what the thing was about, but here is a case (like the average David Lynch film) where the expunging of narrative in favor of seductively composed images pays dividends.
“What’s memorable is not the tracking of a drug lord by elite cops (I think?) but Miami skylines shot through with an unearthly purple glow framing be-suited Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell on a rooftop as they mumble jargon into cell phones — as deliberately anti-action as Beckett. That, and speedboats to Cuba, mo-hee-taws, salsa dancing. Miami Vice is nearly avant garde in its interest in images and instants and busts the genre mold because those moments of true concern have so little to do with explosions and dismemberment.”