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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.74%
Worth A Look: 10.53%
Average: 17.89%
Pretty Bad: 23.16%
Total Crap33.68%

8 reviews, 47 user ratings

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Miami Vice
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by Collin Souter

"As if I really needed another reason to avoid Florida"
2 stars

Miami Vice is one of those movies that exists for its plot and nothing else. It has a plot and thatís all it really needs, as far as its creator Michael Mann is concerned. In fact, the movie starts out by taking us right into the middle of its plot, forgoing any sort of backstory, character development or any sort of map for the viewer to decipher whoís who and whatís what. Sometimes, this approach works (the original Dawn of the Dead comes to mind), but in the case of Miami Vice, it throws us in with only an assumption that we already know Crocket and Tubbs and that everything else is self-explanatory. Itís not. Instead, itís confusing, itís plodding and none of this really matters anyway because, again, the movie has nothing to say about anything.

I mean, letís just pretend the iconic Ď80s TV show never existed and look at Miami Vice as a movie and nothing more. Just who are these two undercover narcotics agents and why should we care? Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell) is the stoic white guy who doesnít always play by the rules and Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) is the black guy who likes to joke around with his wife while having sex with her. Other than that, we got nothing. No relationship, no characters and no arch. The movie exists to unfold its plot, which is little more than your most bland episode of Miami Vice stretched out to 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Rather than try and explain this plot, Iíll just say that it involves Colombian drug lords, FBI agents who also go undercover, scenes on loading docks where lots of shooting takes place, the occasional action sequence and a completely unbelievable (not to mention, pedestrian) subplot in which Crockett falls for the femme fatale (Gong Li) whom heís supposed to be investigating. ďI know what Iím doing,Ē he insists to his partner Tubbs, who gives him little more than a dirty look. We know what heís doing, too, because weíve seen this plot device a hundred times and it never gets any newer.

Not only does this relationship seem obligatory to this type of movie, but there exists little in the way of tension to build it up. Why would a woman fall for Crockett? He has nothing to say and with his greasy near-mullet and bad moustache, he looks like a sad, homeless hound dog. And what about his relationship with Tubbs? Do they like each other? Do they hate each other? Are they just two guys who work together but never talk to one another about anything? Much like Gong Li near the end of the movie, Iím curious to know, just ďWHO ARE YOU!?!?!Ē

Michael Mann directed the movie, which is supposed to make me excited about it. Sorry, but Iím just not one of those critics who fawn over everything he does. I like his work, but Iím not in awe of it. Stylistically, I will contend that heís at the top of his game here. The digital video looks beautiful, as it did in Collateral, bringing to life those beautiful, red Miami clouds that would probably have to be digitally inserted or enhanced were it shot on film stock. You wonít hear me complaining that the movieís look and atmosphere differentiating too much from the TV show. Iíll take grainy video over tacky pastel colors any day of the week.

But weíre still left with an empty andósave for an excellent shoot-out sequence in a trailerólifeless movie that probably would never see the light of day were it not for its title. I somehow managed to be a fan of the TV show in its heyday, but cannot explain to myself why. I guess I just liked the look and feel of it, and the music wasnít bad. Iím sure if I watched an episode or two today, Iíd shake my head in utter bewilderment before eventually coming to the conclusion that I was young, impressionable, naÔve and that I didnít really care about such trifles as character development, cohesive narrative and subtlety. Now I know better, but I seriously doubt Iíd have a good time at this movie even if I was 13 years old.

On the other hand, towards the end of the film, a news station reports of a pending hurricane, at which point I thought, ďI will seriously consider giving this movie 3 stars if it actually ends with a hurricane.Ē Thatís how desperate I was for something interesting to happen.

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originally posted: 07/31/06 13:11:32
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User Comments

7/01/09 pantera michael mann sucks 1 stars
6/15/09 Jeff Wilder Can't say I "enjoyed" it. But it's one film I'll never forget. 3 stars
6/14/09 JR If this were made first, there never would have been a tv series. Crap. 1 stars
9/30/08 Jukebox Heroe Mumbling fast a new language? Soundtrack pathetic. turn off ur brain 4 this. 1 stars
8/21/08 Shaun Wallner Ugg boring!! 1 stars
6/25/08 dan halberg Probably would have been better if it was set in the 80's. 2 stars
7/25/07 Amy Boring, stupid, poorly filmed gibberish 1 stars
7/25/07 hoppy rob gonsalves review of this film says it perfectly. Where's the personality? 2 stars
7/21/07 ben dover very underated slick and stylish 4 stars
6/06/07 David Pollastrini bad series, worse movie 1 stars
4/13/07 Johnnyfog If I wanted to watch "Heat", I'd just rent it again 1 stars
2/22/07 Matt Another TV show hits the big screen like a lump of dog turd. Absolute rubbish. 1 stars
1/22/07 Indrid Cold If there was any magic and chemistry in the show, this sure doesn't capture it. 3 stars
1/13/07 Xavier Can't understand a fucking word of dialogue. No chemistry. The worst from Mann, ever. 1 stars
1/04/07 mr jackson piece of shit, i turned it off, would look bad even as saturday afternoon entertainment 1 stars
1/01/07 Joe Dull, cliched plot. Minimal action. Zero in common w/show except Crockett & Tubbs. It sucks 2 stars
12/28/06 Brutus A complete failure from pretentious Mann 1 stars
10/30/06 Adam Best action movie since the 80's, Snobs will overanalyze. Better than "The Departed" 5 stars
10/15/06 William Goss Sparse action undermined by plodding plot. Sex and staring at sunsets not that compelling. 2 stars
10/13/06 spacecowboy it movie retains the spirit of the original. any fan of the original would recognize that. 5 stars
9/13/06 Agent Sands The Ben-Hur or Spartacus of cop films. 4 stars
8/29/06 Nick not even worth this comment! 1 stars
8/29/06 Frenzy Not as bad as I others say 3 stars
8/27/06 Captain Craig Only proves if you take a shower with someone nothing bad will happen to you. Ugh! 1 stars
8/23/06 jake a shoolboy could have come up with a better plot. CRAP characters no substance or story 1 stars
8/22/06 MP Bartley A terse, adult, slow burning thriller. 4 stars
8/13/06 Marty mann whipped up some action, but boy was this movie dull. foxx - wasted 2 stars
8/11/06 michael long live the 80's when they knew how to make good movies 4 stars
8/10/06 Me You're all clowns 5 stars
8/09/06 Elizabeth S A big disappointment from Mann; intended gritty night scenes are UGLY 2 stars
8/09/06 Mansi Dido Okay. But not a patch on the original Crockett and Tubbs - now they REALLY had style. 3 stars
8/08/06 JLo Should have cast Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas 1 stars
8/06/06 Erik Van Sant Boring. Confusing. Forgettable. Haven't seen this many 'shower scenes' since 'Top Gun'. 1 stars
8/05/06 millersxing Michael Mann's Vice City: it's a sexy, glamorous, and dangerous underworld. 5 stars
8/04/06 Andrew The only thing great about it is how it looks, and for 135 million it sure as hell should 2 stars
8/02/06 JJ The movie guy said "Good luck with that." when I bought my ticket... 2 stars
8/02/06 Agent Sands Very enjoyable and grandiose. The Ben-Hur or Magnolia or Good, Bad and Ugly of cop films. 5 stars
8/01/06 The Man Mann Rankings: Last of Mohicans, Insider, Heat, Miami Vice, Collateral, all awesome 5 stars
8/01/06 MRM Not enough car/boat chase, HEAT had more violence, no awards here 2 stars
7/31/06 J wow i couldnt believe how bad this movie was...the audience started BOOING at the end 1 stars
7/31/06 jcjs fun, nice innuendos, great acting, visually sweet, bang bang nice, worked for me, pleased 5 stars
7/31/06 Peter Smith Lame, over-hyped 2 stars
7/31/06 Ole Man Bourbon Some really great Mann-esque touches, but also much stupid, silly, pointless crap 3 stars
7/30/06 great colin farrell was masterful in this potenial oscar worthy film 5 stars
7/29/06 Troy M. Grzych One of the worst films I've seen...ever. I had to struggle to make myself stay and finish 1 stars
7/29/06 ahnold Pure SHIT. No plot. No dialogue for actors. Just visuals. OVER-HYPED 1 stars
7/29/06 Colt Cool! GTA: VICE CITY - THE MOVIE!!!!! Oh, and MANHUNTER sucked donkey balls... 1 stars
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  28-Jul-2006 (R)
  DVD: 05-Dec-2006



Directed by
  Michael Mann

Written by
  Michael Mann

  Jamie Foxx
  Colin Farrell
  Gong Li
  Naomie Harris
  CiarŠn Hinds
  Justin Theroux

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