Melissa Tamminga’s review published on Letterboxd:
You’d think I’d hate the hyper masculinity of the Mann-verse, but somehow I fall for it. Every time.
And finally (!) catching up with this was no different.
But can it even be called hyper masculinity? It’s a male-centered world: men and their tools, men and their guns, men and their jobs, men and their cars, men and their women, men and their money, men and their city. But there’s some other quality here and in Mann that doesn’t feel like a typically rendered masculinity.
Mark Cousins in his documentary series The Story of Film suggests D. W. Griffith was the first filmmaker to make the “wind in the trees” part of film storytelling. That is, he chose to film moments that weren’t strictly related to the story but filled in a kind of texture, making us feel the story rather than simply know it. Maybe that’s what I might say Mann does, for his worlds are textured and layered in ways that I can’t really explain from a story point of view. Maybe it’s something to do with the loving caresses his camera offers to his cityscapes, the light on an oiled puddle in an LA street, a world of night lit by glittering swaths lights. Or maybe it’s his couples in bed, with the romantic, rather than leering, glances at their bodies, and it’s a romance that doesn’t seem like it should belong in an action (?) film but is absolutely right.
Anyway. Swoon-worthy stuff.