Friday Night Vice

Friday, August 11th, 2006

Went to see Miami Vice earlier. I thought the set piece action sequences were on a par with those in Heat or other Mann films. If you want to see some nice technothriller scenes with all the hardware and SOPs this film delivers everything you could ask for.

However while the cold professionals without any banter take on the two lead characters was interesting it left no real emotional hook to become attached to their characters. Yes this isn’t a Lethal Weapon style Riggs and Murtaugh style buddy cop banter, which while fun at the time now looks a bit dated post Tarantino or Mamet, but give them a bit of humanity. That said it’s the first film with Colin Farrell I’ve seen since Tigerlands where he seemed to be bothered to work at his acting. Shame the character wasn’t really interesting enough to deserve the effort. There are films where the cold professionals doing a job with little background exposition can be interesting. I always thought De Niro and Reno in Ronin and Damon and to a lesser extent Owen in the Bourne Identity did a pretty good job of doing something with that.

Mann’s love for digital camera’s also became annoying. I know they work in lower light than film but I’ve gone to the cinema to watch something that should look better than what I’d see if I watched it on TV. All of the night time footage in this film will look better when I see it on a smaller screen. After a while the graininess just becomes distracting. Maybe in a few years it really will be up to the job.

I’ve seen far worse films and I’m glad it wasn’t a Dukes of Hazard style comedy remake of Miami Vice because those are getting poorer with each year as the makers show less and less respect for the original material. In the end I expected something more from Mann than just well executed set pieces.

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