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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.74%
Worth A Look: 10.53%
Just Average: 17.89%
Pretty Crappy: 23.16%

8 reviews, 47 user ratings

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Miami Vice
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by EricDSnider

"Just like a TV show, except not at all fun."
3 stars

The plot of "Miami Vice" is a typically convoluted affair involving drug smugglers, undercover cops and a lot of gunfire. Such merriment has long been fodder for all manner of TV shows, of course, including a certain '80s trendsetter called "Miami Vice." What Michael Mann -- executive producer of the TV series and writer/director of the new film -- has done is take that story and strangle all the fun out of it.

Mann's films tend to be melancholy, even somber ("Ali," "Collateral," etc.), but never has he seemed so hell-bent on dreariness. The story, easily handleable in a two-part TV episode, is stretched out for 133 minutes, its themes repeated endlessly. Occasional bursts of action provide temporary respite. Then it's back to the dreariness.

The fact that I've never seen an episode of "Miami Vice" does not appear to be a liability. Are the cops known as Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) the same character types as their TV counterparts were? Probably not: I'm guessing the TV versions had personalities. The movie versions are bleak, taciturn figures who are interchangeable with one another. One of them has a girlfriend and one is single, but that's as far as it goes. (The one only has a girlfriend for the same reason all movie cops have girlfriends: so she can be abducted by the bad guys.)

Crockett and Tubbs are Miami police officers who go undercover to stop a huge drug-smuggling ring that involves white supremacists and good old-fashioned South American kingpins. There are several layers of employees between the street and the head honcho, and one of those layers is Isabella (Gong Li), a Chinese-Cuban femme fatale for whom Crockett has a serious case of the hots. Despite it being the worst idea either of them has ever had -- which is saying a lot, considering the hairstyle he has chosen -- they embark on a personal relationship that's bound to run into snags when he either a) reveals his identity and arrests her, or b) reveals his identity and has to kill her.

Mann has the right idea in providing no superfluous exposition, instead dropping us right into Crockett and Tubbs' shadowy world and letting us catch up as we go. One must pay attention to the dialogue or risk becoming hopelessly lost; in the debate over how much to spell things out, Mann errs on the side of under-explaining. The film has, in other words, the appearance of being a very smart, sophisticated crime thriller.

Except that it's not. The story, as I said, is elementary, dressed up with shaky camerawork and cryptic dialogue but still a by-the-numbers undercover-cop story -- MINUS the thrills that usually go along with it. Because in Mann's attempt to make something artsy and grown-up, he has neglected the element of fun. Listening to Colin Farrell and Gong Li fret soberly about their future as a couple, which they do in about 1,000 different scenes, is not my idea of a good time.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14888&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/28/06 04:07:16
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User Comments

6/30/09 pantera michael mann sucks 1 stars
6/14/09 Jeff Wilder Can't say I "enjoyed" it. But it's one film I'll never forget. 3 stars
6/13/09 JR If this were made first, there never would have been a tv series. Crap. 1 stars
9/29/08 Jukebox Heroe Mumbling fast a new language? Soundtrack pathetic. turn off ur brain 4 this. 1 stars
8/20/08 Shaun Wallner Ugg boring!! 1 stars
6/24/08 dan halberg Probably would have been better if it was set in the 80's. 2 stars
7/24/07 Amy Boring, stupid, poorly filmed gibberish 1 stars
7/24/07 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
6/05/07 David Pollastrini bad series, worse movie 1 stars
4/12/07 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
1/21/07 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
1/03/07 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
12/27/06 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
10/12/06 spacecowboy it movie retains the spirit of the original. any fan of the original would recognize that. 5 stars
9/12/06 Agent Sands The Ben-Hur or Spartacus of cop films. 4 stars
8/29/06 Nick not even worth this comment! 1 stars
8/28/06 Frenzy Not as bad as I others say 3 stars
8/26/06 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
8/10/06 michael long live the 80's when they knew how to make good movies 4 stars
8/09/06 Me You're all clowns 5 stars
8/08/06 Elizabeth S A big disappointment from Mann; intended gritty night scenes are UGLY 2 stars
8/08/06 Mansi Dido Okay. But not a patch on the original Crockett and Tubbs - now they REALLY had style. 3 stars
8/07/06 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
8/03/06 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
8/01/06 Agent Sands Very enjoyable and grandiose. The Ben-Hur or Magnolia or Good, Bad and Ugly of cop films. 5 stars
7/31/06 The Man Mann Rankings: Last of Mohicans, Insider, Heat, Miami Vice, Collateral, all awesome 5 stars
7/31/06 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
7/30/06 Peter Smith Lame, over-hyped 2 stars
7/30/06 Ole Man Bourbon Some really great Mann-esque touches, but also much stupid, silly, pointless crap 3 stars
7/29/06 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
7/28/06 ahnold Pure SHIT. No plot. No dialogue for actors. Just visuals. OVER-HYPED 1 stars
7/28/06 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
  Ciarán Hinds
  Justin Theroux

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