Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. Germany/USA, 2006. Universal Pictures, Motion Picture ETA Produktionsgesellschaft, Forward Pass, Foqus Arte Digital, Metropolis Films. Screenplay by Michael Mann, based on the TV series created by Anthony Yerkovich. Cinematography by Dion Beebe. Produced by Pieter Jan Brugge, Michael Mann. Music by John Murphy. Production Design by Victor Kempster. Costume Design by Michael Kaplan, Janty Yates. Film Editing by William Goldenberg, Paul Rubell.
Another television series makes the jump to the big screen, this time helmed by the very artist who was instrumental in the original show’s production. Michael Mann takes the ultra-eighties-cool undercover detectives and puts them on the modern crime scene, with Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) having to crack a giant drug operation that extends from Cuba to the shores of Florida. The film is an overlong mess of mumbled, incomprehensible dialogue and some pretty flat characterizations, but it does look dazzling and Li Gong is lovely as the lady who plays an instrumental part of the bad guys’ drug run but can’t resist Crockett’s charms. Unfortunately, Foxx’s Tubbs is a hell of lot more interesting than his partner and gets short-shrifted by what little plot there is; and in the way of plot, where are the funky neon suits? Where is the humorous excuse for these local law enforcers to have such fancy cars and clothes? If I remember correctly, Don Johnson’s Crockett didn’t look like he’d just woken up under a dirty hooker and decided not to shower for a year. Mann demands a lot of dramatic involvement from his audience with these cerebral but viscerally exciting action movies, but this film, like previous hits Heat and Collateral, has so little humour to it that it just comes off as a silly blockbuster trying to pass itself off as high art. Sue me, I’m a snob, but at least Bad Boys was honest about being entertainment designed to complement your popcorn-eating experience.