UPDATED: 7/14/06, 10:25PM:
A few things. I'll have a full review of the film Monday.
First, I was likely wrong in jumping the gun and assuming "Miami Vice" will be "panned." In conversations with various people over the last 24 hours, I've come to find that there is more love for the film out there than could be discerned from last night's somewhat jarred and mixed crowd. On top of which, tonight's audience, a much smaller one, was extremely positive. But last night - there was plenty of negativity to be found. Regardless, I think we're looking at a mixed bag from the critical community. But in both positive and negative reviews, I fully expect lazy analysis.
The film is better in my eyes than last night, but there are justifications on various levels that are difficult to swallow and accept. There are gaps in tangibility that have just never existed in a Michael Mann film before. "Miami Vice" is undoubtedly a step down, the least creatively compelling movie he has made since "The Last of the Mohicans," perhaps since "The Keep."
More on Monday.
1) When they pan the film - and they will - expect the critical consensus to have a hard time justifying the gratuitous violence.
2) Expect that critical consensus to be typically lazy and avoid taking a deeper look at the film in order to identify the purpose of said violence.
3) Expect a longing for one-tenth of the emotional complexity layered throughout the toughest of Michael Mann cinema, and a disappointment at the cheap effort found here in that regard.
4) Expect to ask yourself why Mann decided to even bother with this project in the first place.
5) Expect, as always with Mann, to take away from the experience more and more as you spin away from it, and therefore, don't expect to have your mind made up when you leave the theater. Despite what I've said above, mine isn't made up yet.
And so I will take in "Miami Vice" once more tomorrow night before committing any in-depth thoughts. I think it is a mistake to jump the gun and print a review of this film without having digested it and gone back for seconds, because this is a director - one of the few - who works on so many unseen layers as to manifest experiences, more so than "movies." And experiences are anything but one specific thing. I made a mistake judging "Collateral" too soon in 2004. Like that film, "Miami Vice" plays on the surface like a 'B' movie. But the potential for depth is too apparent to avoid giving it another shot.
I just don't want to allow myself to believe that my favorite working director has taken such a drastic step down. Not yet.