If you’re expecting Michael Mann’s Miami Vice movie to feature the white and pastel suits of the television series, then you may be disappointed. The movie, which stars Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell, is a darker, grittier, more violent and modernized version of the flashy show Mann created in the 80s.
Miami Vice features all of Mann’s trademarks (stunning camera work and suspenseful action scenes), and fans of the director’s previous films Collateral and Heat will be in sweet bliss with his latest action thriller.
In the movie, Foxx (as Ricardo Tubbs) and Farrell (as Sonny Crockett) accept an undercover assignment to crack down on drug dealers. Crockett and Tubbs penetrate a drug runners’ cartel and get in so deep that the mission tests Crockett’s loyalty. He falls for Isabella (played by Gong Li), the cartel’s elegant Cuban-Chinese “financial officer.” Crockett reminds the wary Tubbs that it’s all an act, but certainly, we recognize otherwise. The look in his eyes every time he sees Isabella and the serious tone in his voice when he talks about her expose Farrell’s true feelings.
Miami Vice’s effective digital camera work was also used in Michael Mann’s previous film, Collateral. Cameras follow actors through the action in the film, making the audience feel like a participant in scenes like the nightclub rumble in the beginning of the movie and the shoot-out in the end. The camera work is brilliant to the point where any moment in the movie can make a beautiful photo.
There were a few small problems: too many sex scenes and the drug deal took forever. Also, Jamie Foxx’s role was smaller than Colin Farrell’s, which is a shame because Foxx had more charisma in the film. Colin Farrell was solid—his role was mostly involved in the serious romance with Isabella, but Jamie Foxx does a much better job in the gritty action.
Don’t expect an action-packed movie—this is more of an action-drama, a real take on the undercover cop world. Miami Vice is not the non-stop Lethal Weapon or Bad Boys-type movie. But if you want action and excitement, just wait until the last 30 minutes, you won’t be disappointed.