Director: Michael Mann
Starring: Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Gong Li,
Naomie Harris, Ciarán Hinds, Justin Theroux, Barry Shabaka
RunTime: 2 hrs 14 mins
Released By: UIP
VICE " Soundtrack Review
Date: 21 September 2006
Miami cops Crockett and Tubbs risk their lives while infiltrating
a ruthless criminal network involving a Colombian cartel,
Russians and white supremacists. Working undercover is adult,
dangerous and alluring especially when Crockett and Tubbs
go to where their badges don’t count.
my trusted fellow columnist who reviewed the soundtrack
album for this movie, I have no memory of having watched
any kitschy 1980s television action series like Miami Vice.
Hence, this movie review shall disregard the factor of whether
it does justice to that wildly popular television drama which
showcased leading men with rich facial hair, colorful shirts
and bared bodies with hairy chests (or so I heard).
know what they say: never mix up work with your personal lives.
The story’s focus is on two Miami detectives who go
undercover, taking on a dangerously big drug-trafficking network.
Along the way, compromises are made, loved ones are hurt and
personal feelings are involved.
by director Michael Mann whose works include 1999’s
The Insider and 2004’s Collateral, one would expect
some really uber-cool material from this update of the popular
television action drama series. The Oscar-nominated director’s
latest work scores high on the cool meter, but sadly, that
is about it.
there wasn’t really a need to spend 134 minutes to tell
a story like that. While there were plenty of scenes which
featured the cast talking, negotiating and discussing some
really serious issues (as coolly as they can, of course) and
spouting one-liners (cool ones, nonetheless), they did not
justify why they should all be there. The only purpose is
for the sake of creating a cool mood for the film, we’d
there are the two male leads. Bad boy Colin Farrell (he who
provides the rich facial hair) and Oscar winner Jamie Foxx
(he who provides a very sculpted bare bod) do not look very
happy in this movie. Their constant grim, solemn and brooding
characters could have been injected with some fun. And being
partners, there is somewhat a lack of chemistry between the
two. But then again, if this is what is required to make one
look cool to attract all the hot chicks, I rest my case. Mental
note to self: it is probably time to revise my own personality.
first saving grace of this picture comes from, surprise surprise,
an Asian actress playing the role of the Cuban drug lord’s
Chinese wife. It is not just any Asian actress, but Gong Li,
who takes on this task, proving that it is not just a certain
nubile Ziyi Zhang who can break into the Hollywood scene.
In fact, this 40-year-old acts so well with her body language
that we are not minding her inaccurate English pronunciation.
Her character may be the only one you’d be caring about.
The other obvious commendable aspect of this movie is the
stunningly-shot visuals. Shot on digital video instead of
traditional film reels, the sights and sounds of Miami are
beautifully captured on camera. As with other films directed
by Mann, the shot compositions are a pleasure to the eyes.
Viewers with a thing for captivating visuals will love this
if you are into loud movies, this one is for you too. The
booming soundtrack, the deafening gun shots and the revving
engine sounds are all ready to do some serious damage to your
you have noticed, I have not compared this 2006 update to
the original television series from the 1980s. And that is
probably a good thing too, for it has received quite a lot
of flak from fans of the action series. However, this does
not give it a reason for its underwhelming storyline and uneven
then again, maybe I’m just saying that because this
super-cool flick makes me feel uncool about myself. The things
reviewers write to protect their egos - shudder.
(While this Mann vehicle boasts of some really gorgeous visuals,
the movie may be too cool for its own good)
by John Li