Credit: Miami Vice: Frank Connor

First: There will be no pastel-colored blazers over T-shirts. No pet alligator named Elvis for Crockett. There won’t even be that Jan Hammer theme-song synthstravaganza. Director Michael Mann has stripped the ’80s-ness from the show he helped create and updated it with a gritty new look. Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx step into the roles of drug-world-infiltrating cops Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs, made famous by Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. ”The last thing I would have been interested in was just doing a remake,” says Mann. ”We’re doing Miami Vice as if there never had been a television series, doing it real.”

Sounds simple enough, right? But if the rumors are to be believed, the Miami Vice shoot was anything but. Reports of trouble continually dogged the production: a ballooning budget, endless script revisions, biblical hurricanes, a gunfight involving a security guard in the Dominican Republic. Mann acknowledges the filming was ”certainly an adventure,” but he waves off the chatter around the film. ”We’re in the era of bloggers, and people can make stuff up,” he says. ”I just don’t worry about it.” Foxx agrees: ”There was a lot of exaggeration,” he says. ”A whole lot.”

Foxx, who’s never met Thomas, says audiences can forget everything they know about the original show. (And he wouldn’t mind if they also forgot his recent film Stealth: ”I made an ass out of myself,” he laughs.) This Miami Vice is no exercise in nostalgia. ”If you do it corny, it doesn’t have as much effect,” he says. ”This is drugs, it’s boats, it’s cars, it’s women, it’s things right around the corner you can’t see.”

Miami Vice
  • Movie
  • 130 minutes