Sunday, July 30, 2006

Miami Vice

Review by Michael Jaffe

If you have ever seen or heard of the original MIAMI VICE TV show, then the movie is probably not for you. While the original show was all style and oozing with coolness, the movie is a dark, gritty, very talkative cop drama. That’s right, I said drama as there is maybe 3 action scenes in this movie, all of which appears in the trailer. It is shot in the same way Michael Mann shot COLLATERAL and HEAT except that those movies had a lot more to them and a lot more action sequences to move the story along. I really wanted to love this movie as I really like everyone involved and I really like the original show, but the final product is unfortunately no where near the potential sum of its parts. The two stars, Farrell and Foxx, are both quite good in their roles as both can stare at stuff with the staring bests. The dialogue seems realistic on one hand as the people in the movie are all business all the time, but on the other hand it seemed very static and fairly dull, which doesn’t help the barely visible plot. If a movie doesn’t have much of a plot, it should have other things that excel to make up for it, but the straight foreword story consists of Miami PD detectives Crockett and Tubbs going undercover in the Columbian drug cartel to try and find a leak into the FBI. So for over two hours, you see what its like to be a runner for a drug cartel and never find out who the mole is, but you do have a lot of love scenes. That was another thing that bothered me was the amount of scenes where Colin Farrell and Chinese goddess Gong Li (still really hot) engage in a) sex or b) conversations about their families. While it was nice to see some character development, Farrell’s character was undercover at the time so I was left wondering if his back story was real or his cover, so it didn’t really shed any light on his character at all. Li was quite good in her role as the middleman for the big Columbian drug dealer. And she apparently was his girl, which I didn’t figure out until someone said “she’s his woman” almost two thirds of the way through the movie. The plot had me trying to figure stuff out the whole way, and once important plot points were uncovered you had to ask “why does this matter?” Not saying that Michael Mann has lost his touch, but this film is definitely a down point in his illustrious career. He has perfected the pseudo-documentary look and feel of the film as he did in COLLATERAL and that works great in this film, but with such bland dialogue and a goofy plot, I wonder if all the distractions on set from Farrell’s drug problem to a shooting on set, effected the final product of the film. The cool and grit that seeps out of this movie save it from just being bad. 6/10

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