Michael Mann directs Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx and Li Gong in this cop thriller where a crew of Miami Vice detectives go undercover to infiltrate a cartel and their White Supremacist connection.
“That is the hand we have been dealt at eleven forty seven o’clock on Saturday night.” Intimate weaving digital camerawork. Leads who barely talk to each other. Their onscreen relationship so tight they know what the other one is thinking and work in silent unison. Dread inducing action sequences where one slip up can result in death. Ominous Florida skies pregnant with colour and energy. A wistful Romeo + Juliet romance between a lonely cop and an ops manager for an international cocaine dealer. “Smooth, that’s how we do it.” This for a fair few years was my go to late night movie, there is something about its unintentional ASMR mood (often silent, close-ups, whispered compact dialogue, attention to detail, stripped back lighting) that means it hypnotises you into its moments efficiently. So that when extreme violence does erupt it is a nerve jangling shock. Did Mann intend this to revive his 80s TV series? I doubt it… I think he just bolted on the brand to a big budget script he wanted to make. Knowing Universal were more likely to stump up $135 million for a recognised IP than a standalone tale of two cops entering a geopolitical scam. It is telling that Jan Hammer’s electronica theme music is notably absent. At least we get an update of the iconic 80s Phil Collin’s track In The Air Tonight to accompany this dark case file. An underrated crime epic that puts you right into the heady mix of going covert.
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