Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”
The last time Michael Mann turned one of his TV projects into a feature film, it resulted in Heat, one of the smartest and slickest crime pictures the genre has seen. Miami Vice instead seems like Mann-by-numbers: There's the gloss, the attention to detail, the vivid locations, and the belief in the audience's intelligence. But it's missing a center, as if the inspiration stopped at the title, with a typical action-thriller plot borrowed from the textbook. In interviews Mann said he wanted to probe into the psyches of undercover agents and why they put their lives and loves at risk, but by all indications he completely failed, probing more deeply into their shower and hair-combing routines. Circumstances forced an improvised ending, but the film is a mess long before it gets there, albeit a pretty mess.