Universal Pictures
Opens nationwide on Friday, 28 July

When I first saw the trailer for this one, I recall making a less-than-cute squidgy face and thinking: WHAT?! I’m a big fan of Michael Mann and enjoy a repeat viewing of “The Insider” or “Heat,” but this… Yes, the casting is very clever and there are brownie points for nostalgia. I went to the one, very packed New York screening of the film on Monday night, hoping there would be some great filmmaking and perhaps some loafers with bare feet for good measure.

The picture opens with some promise in a cool club playing Linkin Park. The cinematography is great, once again, but the story gets rolling pretty fast with sparse dialogue covering lots of undercover lingo that also made me think: WHAT?! As Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell get their furrowed brows ready, the film goes straight past homage and even steps over cliché to hit plaid. Pretty soon, Farrell (whose voice now sounds like the bottom of an ashtray) is looking for love in all the wrong places and there are times when I think that Nicholas Sparks dreamed up these scenarios for Mandy Moore. The leading boys are lacking the fun that their inspirations brought to the role, though that is largely due to the script (which spouts lines like: “You cannot negotiate with gravity.” WHAT?!). The few respites from the drama come from their band of merry men and women, and the relief is only a brief tease.

In was in the final act of the story, however, when the sound in the theater went completely insane. For at least twenty minutes, the audio track became so mangled, that it really sounded like something from the reject pile of a junior high film festival. During this time, the New York press contingent screamed at the theatre management (while seated and still eating), but still made a valiant effort to hear the dialogue between the pows and ka-blams. After a few other folks evacuated, I picked up my schoolbag and walked over the Central Park West. On my stroll, I passed by maybe a dozen posters for “Miami Vice,” which are infinitely more interesting than the film, despite the talents of it wondrous pedigree.