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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Michael Mann's Miami Vice

I loved Michael Mann's previous film Collateral. I ranked it as one of my top ten favourite films of 2004. In an interview in American Cinematographer, Michael Mann said that as far as he was aware, Collateral was one of the first movies to attempt to make a "look" out of digital video rather than trying to make DV look like film. And to me, the city of Los Angeles at night had never looked more beautiful. Whoa.

That's why I was looking forward to Miami Vice (despite not remembering anything about the old TV show, nor being a fan of Colin Farrell), because I knew that Michael Mann's going to continue experimenting with digital filmmaking here.

Okay, and I also wanted to see it because I was eager to see how Gong Li would fare in a Hollywood film (I chose to skip Memoirs of Geisha).

Saw this with Justin. He ended up enjoying it more than I did, probably because he walked in with zero expectations, while I was hoping for something more intense. Even if it weren't a shoot-em up, I thought it would be more of a thriller. But the film's actually pretty slow. (did pick up during the last third)

However, the cinematography IS amazing. The raw digital look of the film is nice and unique to look at. (although my visual effects designer, Priscilla, told me that she hated it, darn) And I definitely think that Gong Li is a MUCH better actress than Zhang Ziyi. But then, I did giggle a little when she first opened her mouth in the film.

I don't know. As cool as Colin Farrell looked in the film, I just felt that he was in the wrong film. As if he had just been plucked out of A New World as Captain John Smith, but given guns and a new exotic chick to fall in love with. It's kinda unconvincing that a cold ice queen-type like Gong Li's Isabella character would hook up with him... after a ride on a speedboat. WTF? A pairing between (Oscar Winner!) Jamie Foxx's character, Ricardo Tubb's and Isabella would've been more interesting.

Another problem with the film is that the heroes were TOO unstoppable, hence lessening the tension of the film, there is not a single moment when you feel that their lives were in jeopardy. Even Superman got stabbed in the back with a Kryptonite, even Jack Sparrow, well, you know what happened to him in the end of Pirates of the Caribbean, but nothing fazed the two heroes at all, they just waltzed through scene by scene, having everything under control. Ricardo's reaction when he learnt that his girlfriend had just been kidnapped is similar to a guy who had just stepped on a chewing gum in a train station. THAT'S how hardcore they were.

Not a horrible film... like My Super Ex-Girlfriend, but not a film I would recommend.

It needed more awesome music moments. Like the old TV series.