Michael Mann has reportedly been pestered for years to return the 80s cop show where he cut his directorial teeth. Finally it’s here and thankfully there’s not a baggy linen suit or 80s synth chord to be found.
Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell play hard nosed Miami cops Crockett and Tubbs impersonating drug couriers. The aim is to not say much while cracking a drug racket, looking cool and making out with their ladies.
Unfortunately, one of the beauties is Isabella (Gong Li), the bad guy’s girl. The plot thickens.
If you’ve never wanted to pilot a speedboat through tropical seas then you will when you see this. The camerawork is truly inventive, with tight tracking shots ruthlessly honing in on a close up whilst the action carries on around it in soft focus.
As in art house movies, Mann refuses to always show us the obvious shot. He is creating a mood as much as telling a story. All this is great, the work of a master in fact. So why is the film also quite dull for a lot of its 132 minutes?
It’s not Gong Li’s fault. She is one of the most captivating stars to hit the screens in recent years. It's true that her English is not always very clear, but regardless of that she manages to show a whole gamut of emotions from haughty disdain to erotic abandon.
The problem lies with Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell who are required to be manly buddies in that silent grunting tradition handed down from the apes.
Foxx manages to rise above the restrictions with his natural charisma, but the same cannot be said for the ridiculously moustached and increasingly chubby faced Colin Farrell who is quite simply the dullest thing on the screen. Buy it by all means, but expect to be somewhat underwhelmed.
It seems strange that a director famed for his obsessive thoroughness and astonishing attention to detail (he once made a renowned actor walk through a doorway 20 times until he had the perfect take) that Michael Mann would allow such a lightweight special features package to be released.
In fact, the only possible explanation we can think of for this sloppy effort is that a bumper special edition will probably be released some time next year, so it may be best to wait for that before parting with your hard earned cash.
Dispensing with a commentary, there are only two featurettes and an appropriately criminal cover of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” from Nonpoint.
From first to last frame Miami Vice looks fantastic.
Whether it’s the spectacular cloud formations - which part to reveal our heroes’ personal plane - or the illuminated computer screens on their speedboats as they chase through the water by moonlight, beauty is what Michael Mann is seeking.
Staring: Colin Farrell, Jamie Fox
Directed by: Michael Mann
Extras: 'Miami And Beyond: Shooting On Location' featurette, 'Miami Vice Undercover' featurette, 'In The Air Tonight' music video from Nonpoint