Fast-Paised review: 'Miami Vice'

Detectives Sonny (Colin Farrell) and Ricardo (Jamie Foxx) go undercover to infiltrate an international drug trade. They get in too deep when Sonny hooks up with Isabella (Gong Li), an associate of the dealers who shares the boss' money and his bed. Written and directed by Michael Mann ("Collateral," "Heat"), an executive producer on the original series.

Big question: Can Mann instill some hard-edged style into a lame '80s show?

Skip it: Devoting too much time to one-note villains and unconvincing romance, "Miami Vice" skimps on actual drug deals, drug busts or any sense of the courage and commitment it takes to go undercover. This meandering stream of mumbled conversations and dry sex scenes mostly leaves you waiting for someone to do real, gritty police work, or at least consider the risk of sleeping with the enemy.

Catch it: If you want a lesson in how to talk in vague cop-speak, courtesy of Sonny: "Somebody's something's gotta go somewhere somewhen not too distant in the future."

Bottom line: There's hardly any heat here, as southeast sizzle and undercover-cop cool are kept to such a minimum that "Miami Vice" may as well have been transferred to St. Louis.

Bonus: You'd think that secluded drug dealers who haven't ordered a pizza wouldn't answer the door for a phony delivery guy, but Ricardo learns that even the toughest criminals can't turn down a free pie!

Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.

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'Miami Vice'

Written and directed by Michael Mann, based on the television series created by Anthony Yerkovich; cinematography by Dion Beebe; edited by William Goldenberg and Paul Rubell; production design by Victor Kempster; music by John Murphy; produced by Mann and Pieter Jan Brugge. A Universal Pictures release; opens Friday. Running time: 2:15. MPAA rating: R (for strong violence, language and some sexual content).

Sonny Crockett - Colin Farrell

Ricardo Tubbs - Jamie Foxx

Isabella - Gong Li

Trudy Joplin - Naomie Harris

Jose Yero - John Ortiz

Montoya - Luis Tosar

Fujima - Ciaran Hinds

Castillo - Barry Shabaka Henley

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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