Jump to 17 years after the last episode aired. The TV show's executive producer, Michael Mann finally gets to make the movie he envisioned after reading the series' pilot episode script. Visually his film works, as he stays true to the TV show's roots by emphasizing style, environment, sex appeal, and attitude. But it falls short when the narrative turns to the human side of the story. As it is, it's more fun to watch fast boats, exotic cars, sexy people and powerful weapons than it is to watch undercover detectives Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) do their thing.
If you've ever watched an episode of the series, you know the drill. Even if you haven't, you still know the drill. Weapons, drugs, and tattooed bad guys are at the epicenter of the proceedings that give Crockett and Tubbs the need to go deep undercover in hopes of exposing a South American drug smuggling ring run by ArcÃ¡ngel de JesÃºs Montoya (Luis Tosar) and supplied by JosÃ© Yero (John Ortiz). Complicating things a bit is Crockett's fling with Yero's woman and the cartel's Chino-Cuban financial officer, Isabella (Gong Li) who eventually lures him to Havana for a night of sex and Mojitos.
None of the characters displays anything resembling on-screen chemistry. Foxx and Farrell go through their paces remaining as stoic and emotionless as a pair of cigar store Indians. Sure, they have dangerous business to undertake, but even the love scenes are passionless and seem to exist only because the film received an R rating and Mann knows how to make them look cute and artsy.
Whether it's evading radar signals in planes, driving cigarette boats to Cuba or traversing Miami's highways in a Ferrari, the action sequences are actually quite thrilling. The gun battle segments, while cold-blooded and brutal, are well executed but not overly gory. Oftentimes aftermath is more effective than bullet to the brainpan accuracy, and Mann executes the restraint perfectly. Dion Beebe's (Memoirs of a Geisha) hand-held camera jitters and hi-definition filming techniques remind us of the nighttime L.A. in Collateral, but work just as effectively here.
As beautiful as his film is and as technically astute as he is at setting up the camera for the best shot, Mann is equally inept at making us care about his characters and what happens to them. They are too good at what they do to make us feel any real danger, and they're too beautiful to allow any personal connection. "Go fast" boats, big guns, and steamy shower sex go only so far in a film like this. The film is stylish, sexy and beautiful, but so is the television series on DVD. And in that we have the pleasure of learning that Sonny Crockett lives on a sailboat and has a crocodile as a pet.
Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; Closed Captioned
Language and Sound: English; Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access.
* Commentary - Feature-length audio commentary with director Michael Mann.
o Miami Vice Undercover
o Miami and Beyond
o Visualizing Miami Vice
o Behind the scenes
+ Gun Training
+ Haitian Hotel Camera Blocking
+ Mojo Race
Number of discs: - 1- Packaging: Single disc keepcase
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