Miami Vice (2006) – Michael Mann

I love a good Michael Mann film, and man do I love my Miami Vice, so sure win right? Unfortunately no. While it’s not a horrible film, the early 21st century update on the classic 80s series just doesn’t work as well as it could.

Yes, the camerawork and look is everything you would expect from Mann, but it lacks an engaging story, and apparently some behind the scenes problems interfered with the shooting and consequently the final product.

I personally think the series is primed to be rebooted, but music clearances would have to be made, and the idea of serialized storytelling would probably be the way to go. But I didn’t hate this take on it.

Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx step into the roles of Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs, a pair of vice cops working for Miami Dade police, usually in an undercover capacity. When a FBI operation goes sideways, thanks to a leak, Crockett and Tubbs are approached by the Bureau to go undercover as transporters.

With the boats, and the style, the grit and the verve, Crockett and Tubbs have to prove themselves for Jose Yero (John Oritz) a mid-level dealer with his own plans, who answers to Montoya (Luis Tosar) and Isabella (Gong Li).

As the pair go deeper undercover, lines get blurred as Crockett and Isabella fall into a romantic relationship with one another. As Yero watches from the sidelines, he gets ready to put his own plan into action, and that is going to cause problems for the investigation, as well as Crockett and Tubbs’ team.

I love how Mann shoots his films, and the look of the film feels gritty, contrasting with the sun, the sleekness of the boats, and the beautiful people who inhabit the film.

All of the series familiar characters are here, Castillo (Barry Shabaka Henley), Trudy (Naomie Harris), Gina (Elizabeth Rodriguez), Switek (Domenick Lombardozzi), and Zito (Justin Theroux), all of the working together to bring down Montoya, even as Crockett starts to lose himself in his relationship with Isabella.

But when Yero makes his move, the choice for Crockett isn’t a difficult one.

I wish this had been better, it had so much potential. Like I said it’s not horrible, but Michael Mann’s name sets a very high bar.

Would I like to see another series? Yes I would. Dark, gritty, flashy, music-filled and serialized (which was my only real problem with the episodic nature of the original series). This is a series that could thrive on television now. I mean with so many legal and cop dramas on television, it’s time to shake it up a bit, with a remix of Miami Vice.

I’ll sit, waiting impatiently, in the air tonight…

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