Miami Vice Reviews
Mixing pop savvy with startling formal ambition, Michael Mann transforms a long, fairly predictable cop-show episode into a dazzling (and sometimes daft) Wagnerian spectacle.
Many critics have found in Mann's films an excess of macho bluster. I can only say his power and exuberant self-belief expose the indentikit dullness of a hundred other meagre film-makers working with similar material.
The worst news about Miami Vice is that Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx, replacing Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas in the key roles, don't hold a candle, a flashlight, a freakin' match to the original guys.
The film, like its oddly rumbling sky, promises more than it ever delivers. Granted, it can look cool. But more often, as we wait for the lightning that never arrives, it frustrates.
While this Vice isn't in the same league as Mann's Collateral (2004) or Heat (1995), it's a gritty, ultra-dark thriller, and it contains two of the best 'kill shot' scenes in recent years.
The pacing and proportion of Heat (1995) and the feeling for place and character evident in Collateral (2004) have been tossed aside for a routine plot in which vice cops Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx pose as drug dealers.
The plot is not overtaxing -- it's about guns, drugs and money -- because the real focus is the allure, danger and alienation of hiding behind an assumed identity.
I enjoyed Mr. Mann's new Miami Vice from its first ravishing frame to the last, but I can't say that very much of it made sense -- but then, neither do the daily headlines.