Saturday, August 05, 2006

Movie: Miami Vice (2006)

Yes, Michael Mann’s film version of his ‘80s-defining TV series isn’t faithful to the original. There are no pastel linen suits, the characters wear socks, Sonny Crockett doesn’t live on a boat with an alligator, and at no point does he refer to the villains as “huckleberries.” More’s the pity; I have no doubt Colin Farrell could inject some genuine menace into the word.

Yes, the plot is shopworn. Yes, the two ridiculously charismatic leads don’t get a chance to demonstrate any chemistry because they’re constrained by the macho dictates of the script.

But this is a Michael Mann movie. Which means yes, the opening frames whip up an atmosphere of danger, simultaneously intense and inviting, that never relents. And yes, it looks incredible. Mann and his Collateral cinematographer Dion Beebe again use digital technology to capture extraordinary images. A gunfight in darkness, the camera flares like bullets. A shot of a boat racing toward a horizon so solid that you’ll be convinced that the world is flat – and so beautiful that you’d happily sail over the edge.

And yes, there are some of us who would forsake any and all superpowers for the chance to hop into that boat and head for Cuba, mojitos, and Gong Li. Screw flying and controlling the weather.

So in a word, yes.