I believe decades ago these modern day action directors would be described by the far more accurate phrase 'talented hacks'. Someone directs an action sequence or series of where a viewer can surmise what is going on and they're suddenly maligned artists? These are directors for hire: Lin's Fast series makes money, end of story. McTiernan's Predator & 1st Die Hard were well made genre films; Tony Scott could've made them, no beat skipped. Mann has a personalized point of view, skill, ability to slow down narrative but a problem with natural sounding dialogue, though I don't hang around with criminals or cops. Miami Vice was critically maligned in some circles for 2 reasons: lack of irony towards its 80's TV counterpart & something Anuj touched upon, the lack of blockbuster box office numbers combined with internet movie review blogging proclaiming something an artistic failure based upon its financial success (the Heaven's Gate syndrome). I remember in '91 seeing The Last Boy Scout with a buddy at Christmas: everything blew up real good & slick; it was enjoyable on its own terms. It was deemed a failure. Why? Numbers. It was the SAME type of formula action film Scott had made since Top Gun, with a darker more cynical tone (perfect for the holidays). It's just that nowadays Tony Scott flash looks like restraint next to Michael Bay's hyperactive incomprehensibility. Seeing The Master last fall reminded me that films with this deliberate pacing would not appeal to the gamer/comic book/mall culture that are now running Hollywood. There are too many remakes to remake.