Miami Vice (M. Mann, 2006)
This might be my favorite action film. Of course, that’s probably because it isn’t really an action movie. Miami Vice is a moody, poetic look at a group of undercover detectives just ‘being’. Yes, the film has a plot, but it really is unimportant in the grand scheme of things. The film is definitely more about mood, atmosphere, and aesthetics, and is at its strongest when it follows Colin Farrell and Gong Li’s characters as they start a relationship, fall in love, and become more important to each other than the operation they are a part of.
Much of the movie is filmed at night, and Mann uses the city lights and moonlight to capture the city, the water, and the characters. The camera rarely stops moving as if it’s trying to see everything it can, which is an interesting contrast with the way the characters do very little. Combine these styles with a great soundtrack (minus a few song choices), and you have the most relaxing, poetic ‘action’ movie I’ve ever seen. 9.5/10