Archive for the ‘Public Enemies’ Category

Public Enemies – Michael Mann’s Romantic Ride

August 25, 2009

In my introduction I professed my complicated feelings for Michael Mann’s 2006 dud Miami Vice. It’s my misunderstood baby, to be endlessly defended against the world. There are few other critics who grant it affection while audiences yawned or failed to notice. Which is understandable. It doesn’t have a normal story structure, it doesn’t waste time with exposition or setting up characters’ origins or whatever. It plops you right in the middle of an undercover drama full of confusion, heartbreak and some of the biggest beards you’ll see outside of Spanish cinema. It’s not the big-budget action extravaganza it was marketed as, but a love story wrapped around guns, style and mood. It’s the movie I point at and say “That’s everything Michael Mann is known for.” People often refer to Heat, the decadent crime opera that influenced everything from Grand Theft Auto to The Dark Knight, as Mann’s masterpiece. Those people haven’t seen Miami Vice. If they have they probably hated it despite everything those two movies have in common – which is everything. You know how auteurs seem to do the same thing over and over in different ways?