Miami Vice

february 15, 2007

I just finished watching Michael Mann's Miami Vice and I am pretty disappointed. The story for the film was really engrossing. It was deep and interesting. The characters that the film revolved around we also quite good -- even the supporting characters were great (one of my favorites was Detective Gina Calabrese portrayed by Elizabeth Rodriguez). And Mann continues to refine his shooting style with all digital cameras, which makes for a very intriguing look -- especially the night shooting, which there is a lot of. Mann's direction of action scenes are brilliant, hyper-realistic and sans all Hollywood over-the-top action. Mann's dialogue is well-written and has true "bite". The movie drips of cool (cars, planes, boats and music). Jamie Foxx is excellent as Rico Tubbs -- in his third collaboration with director Michael Mann, which I hope will continue as they make a good team. So, after all of that goodness, why am I disappointed? One major thing ruined the film: The casting of Colin Farrell as Sonny Crockett. Colin Farrell, his accent, his hair, and his mustache are all miscast for this film and serve only as a bad distraction from an otherwise brilliant film. Every time Farrell was on screen, I was jarringly removed from the film. Thoughts of how badly he looked (that mustache looks like roadkill, that hair looks like a bad mullet) ruined any scene he was in. On top of that, I don't know what kind of accent he adopted for the role of Crockett, but it does not work -- I could not understand him half the time. Farrell single-handedly ruined this film. On a minor note, Gong Li is also a casting mistake for the film. Who decided to try to meld a Spanish accent to her already heavy Chinese accent? The result is that I had to turn on subtitles in order to figure out what she was saying. She is a great actress, but this was just not a role for her. I am a big Michael Mann fan. He is one of those directors who I can truly call an auteur director. His film Heat still stands as one of my favorite films. Collateral also ranks pretty high up on my favorites list. As does Ali and The Insider. Miami Vice would have made the list also, but it was that one casting mistake that ruined it all for me. And that is just a shame.