Miami Vice (8/10)
by Tony Medley
Sonny Crockett (Colin
Farrell) and Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) reprise the roles made famous by
Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas, respectively, in the 1980s TV
series of the same name. But this time Director Michael Mann, who cut
his bones on the original, recognizes that Colin and Jamie are different
cats from Don and Phillip, so Sonny and Ricardo forego the pastel and
panache of the original. The result isn’t bad; it’s just different.
As with before, Sonny and
Ricardo are fighting drug dealers in Miami. They go undercover where
Sonny meets Isabella (Gong Li) and starts an affair with her, even
though she is the main woman of the big bad crimelord, Montoya (Luis
Tosar). But Montoya really isn’t the bad guy in this. That role is
filled by Jose Yero (John Ortiz), who doesn’t like Sonny or Isabella.
But, just like the TV series,
the story has the identical sameness. The drug dealers are bad and
ruthless; our heroes are unconventional and tough; and the locations vie
with the actors for top billing. As a result, it’s not the story that
keeps things going. This film belongs to the guys behind the camera.
Mann has put together an exceptionally talented team, including Academy
Award winning Director of Photography Dion Beebe, and editors William
Goldenberg and Paul Rubell, who keep things moving despite the
131-minute length. Adding immeasurably to the pace is John Murphy’s
music. In fact, for a film like this, and “Collateral,” upon which Mann
and Murphy also collaborated, the music can make or break it.
Naturally the locations are
almost as important as the cast and crew. Miami is the principal
location, along with some pretty fancy boats. Sonny and Ricardo spend
some time throughout the Caribbean and South America and all the locales
used capture the moment.
As for the actors, Foxx is
just along for the ride. This is clearly Farrell’s movie. He’s a great
actor, and he does a good job, but he doesn’t have the magic that
Johnson added to the role.
Don’t be intimidated by the
over 2-hour running time. The film is so well done and so well acted
that interest shouldn’t lag.
July 26, 2006