out of Five
Running time: 135
With impressive performances, exciting shoot-outs and stunning photography, this is an enjoyable thriller, even if it makes very little sense at times.
What's it all about?
Michael Mann's contemporisation of his own iconic 1980s TV show stars Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx as Miami vice cops Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs, who get drawn into a dangerous undercover operation after a high-level leak leads to the deaths of two federal agents.
Posing as a drug courier, Crockett finds himself falling for Isabella (Gong Li) the cartel's beautiful Chinese-Cuban financial officer, who also happens to be the mistress of druglord Montoya (Luis Tosar).
The film looks terrific, thanks to stunning High-Definition photography courtesy of cinematographer Dion Beebe, who previously collaborated with Mann on Collateral. Similarly, the shoot-out scenes are incredibly exciting – Mann places you right in the middle of them, with frequently deafening results.
Farrell is superb as Crockett, even managing to avoid being out-acted by his ridiculous moustache, and his scenes with Gong Li (whose English accent sadly hasn't improved since Memoirs of a Geisha) generate real chemistry. Foxx fares less well because his character isn't given as much to do and he often looks bored as a result.
There are a couple of dodgy moments, such as Naomie Harris's body double for her shower scene being an entirely different skin tone.
Also, whoever forgot to include Crockett's pet crocodile needs a stern talking to.
The biggest problem with the film however, is that it's frequently unintelligible, whether as a result of mumbling actors or a script that is nigh on impossible to follow (eg. the search for the mole is swiftly forgotten). Still, if you can forget about trying to follow the plot, there's a lot to enjoy here.
Michael Mann films are always worth seeing and Miami Vice is no exception. The plot may be confusing but a superb cast and some stunning shoot-outs more than compensate.