Remember when remembering the 80s was cool? Well, some people still think it is. Enter “Miami Vice,” a remake of the quintessential 80s TV show, starring two good-hearted, but bad-ass vice cops (Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx) flamboyantly dressed and sporting perpetual five o’clock shadows, riding around in cigarette boats.
To the chagrin of some, this version of “Vice” has not been set in the 80’s and things have been adapted to the present: Instead of merely chasing coke dealers, Crockett (Farrell) and Tubbs (Foxx) now see themselves faced with an international drug trafficking cartel spanning China and a good portion of South America, and in thick with the Aryan Brotherhood with crystal meth thrown in for good measure.
And there’s a little heartwarming love story too. Crockett falls for Isabella (Gong Li), the beautiful and dangerous “finance officer” of the cartel he’s infiltrating. While the love story within a crime story idea isn’t new and it’s not hard to foretell what will happen to said tender romance, it’s still highly entertaining to watch Farrell whisk Li away to Cuba on his legendary cigarette boat for a romantic interlude.
Like any good Michael Mann film, “Miami Vice” is painted in broad strokes – big guns, steamy sex, fast boats, huge explosions. Sure, there are plot holes big enough to drive a tractor-trailer through, and a lot of the dialogue is indiscernible, but that matters little. The point of this film is the mood. As Mann was the executive producer of the TV series, a fair amount of authenticity is guaranteed. Although Colin Farrell lacks Don Johnson’s intense tan and shiny suits, he does have the dangerous-thus-sexy moves down pretty well (perhaps because he wasn’t acting? Farrell reportedly went directly into rehab following the shoot), and Jamie Foxx gives a convincing rendition of the smooth but dutiful player-cop. Overall it’s a good remake of a cult classic and definitely makes for an entertaining night at the movies.