Miami Vice (2006) Poster

(2006)

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7/10
Solid but underwhelming
maxwellsmart29 July 2006
Due to Michael Mann's track record it was hard to go into this movie without very high expectations. After all, we are talking about the creator of arguably the greatest crime drama/thriller ever made with "Heat", as well as the highly entertaining "Collateral". But "Miami Vice" fails to live up to Mann's past success in the crime genre.

The plot is completely ordinary and doesn't offer up any unexpected twists and turns along the way. Because of this, the movie lacks intensity through much of the first and second acts, when everything that's happening is completely predictable.

However, pedestrian plot aside, the biggest disappointment was the manner in which the characters were developed. Both "Collateral" and "Heat" were notable for the way in which they delved deep into the psyche of the central characters, providing compelling personal drama to go along with the heists, hits and gunplay. But in "Miami Vice", we never really get to know the characters or their motivations beyond the surface level. And to make matters worse, Foxx and Farrell never develop the kind of rapport that's necessary to make a movie like this work on a high level. Compare Foxx and Farrell to Johnson and Thomas, or Gibson and Glover, and you'll see what I mean. Even though the "Miami Vice" movie aspires to be darker and grittier than "Lethal Weapon", which it is, it fails to be as dramatic because we never really come to care about the characters all that much. While there was clearly a conscious decision to downplay the "buddy" elements of the movie, the result is that Crockett and Tubbs seem so disconnected from each other on a personal level that it's hard to buy that they would die for each other, which we are expected to believe. The only relationship that is at all convincing or fleshed out is between Crockett and Isabella. The rest seem decidedly distant and undercooked.

What saves the film from being a bust is the visual splendor and great action sets. Mann once again proves that when it comes to creating a gritty atmosphere and staging shootouts, he's among the best in the business. When it comes to style, visuals, and atmosphere, "Miami Vice" is top notch.

In the end perhaps what hurt this movie most was studio deadlines and delays while shooting. It's been widely reported that Michael Mann had to feverishly edit this film just to get it into theaters on time, and in many ways that shows. There are multiple loose ends that are never tied up or explained, and several plot threads seem underdeveloped. I'm sure some day we will see a director's cut which approaches the 3 hour mark just like "Heat", and perhaps that version will overcome of the issues involving character development and plot holes in the theatrical version. Until then, "Miami Vice" is a movie that, while far from being a total failure, is none-the-less disappointing in that it had the potential to be a much more complete film than it is.
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Liquid Cinema: Part 1
tieman648 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"All is flux, nothing is stationary." - Heraclitus

"Miami Vice", "The Departed" and "The Black Dahlia" were all released in 2006. "The Departed" went on to do big business and win several key awards, whilst "Dahlia" and "Vice" did nothing but annoy audiences tremendously. Their characters were ciphers, the films had little action and despite their tremendous visual style, their plots were a giant bore. I myself found both films almost painful to sit through when first seeing them in theatres.

But time has a way of putting everything in its proper place. Today I find Scorsese's film intolerable and have since seen "Vice" and "Dahlia" over five times, the later two films revealing themselves, with subsequent viewings, to be truly spectacular. But isn't that always the case with great films? You're unprepared, they leave you baffled and your immediate response is always to react with hostility.

The "Miami Vice" television series was renowned for its flashy cars, cool clothes, sexy women and glossy look. Police detectives Tubbs and Crockett were as interested in their designer sunglasses and exotic sports cars as they were in catching criminals. The TV series celebrated superficiality and vapid aesthetics.

The "Vice" film, however, is one of profound numbness. This is an anti-procedural in which the characters are all desensitised to aesthetics, director Michael Mann opening the film with Linkin Park's "Numb Encore" before throwing his audience headlong into a police story so dense and alien that we immediately become as suffocated as the characters on screen. Tubbs and Crockett have themselves been on the job for so long that everything has long lost its sex appeal. The clothes, cars and exotic locales are now all completely banal. Life has been bled of colour, their toys have been bled of value and everything has a hollow, empty feel.

The film's plot – the detectives going undercover to infiltrate a criminal organisation – is both unoriginal and unimportant. This is a tone poem, a big budget art movie in the vein of Wong Kar-wai and Antonioni, Mann more interested in crafting a low-key crime story in which business is conducted with the existential detachment of Jean-Pierre Melville.

When late in the film Tubbs says to his partner, "So, fabricated identity, and what's really up, collapses into one frame. You ready for that on this one?", he's speaking of his partner's ability to distinguish between the professional life of a police officer and the domestic realm of romance. But on another level, the film is about the collapsing of identities in a larger sense, the archetypal police hero robbed of all energy, hopelessly fragmented, numb and reduced. The film itself is bookended by the lyrics "I'm tired of being what you want me to be, feeling so faithless lost under the surface" and "one of these mornings, they will look for me and I'll be gone", both movie and cast bleeding off into melancholic nothingness.

The flashy universe of the "Miami Vice" TV series, with its boundless money, its 80s excess, its glitzy materialism, has been torn open to reveal a vast network hidden deep within. If De Palma's "Scarface", released a year before Mann's TV series, exposes the banality of wealth, of pop individualism, of our very own post modern aesthetic, then "Vice" the movie tries – like HBO's "The Wire" - to map capitalism's unmappable network of corruption and money. This is a complex and illegible world in which it has become impossible to interact if not in a peripheral manner. Everything is in flux, moving, changing hands too quick for minds to process, let alone affect. Money, relationships and people are always in transition. By the film's end, a leak in the heart of a government agency has not been plugged, the villains escape and Crockett loses his girl. Nothing is resolved and everything is liquid. Liquid money, liquid people, liquid jobs, liquid relationships. Everything moves and it moves fast.

The detectives themselves embody divergent movements. Tubbs is focused, a man of stability, both in his love life and professionally, whilst Crockett is unpredictable, unbalanced and instinctive. He's always gazing out at the horizon, yearning for that utopian "beach paradise" that all Mann's heroes long for. But "Vice's" utopia differs significantly from the paradisaical longings of the men in "Collateral", "Manhunter", "Thief", "Public Enemies" and "Heat". Those characters all failed to actualise their idyllic havens because they were unable to separate the "professional" from the "domestic". But the lesson that "Vice" teaches is that the modern man is permanently disembodied. There is no "actual", no "real", to connect to. The human being has disappeared and dematerialised into the heart of an urban universe governed by technology and money. The post urban world is a confused and atomized mass held together only by the financial tendrils that cross it and the electronic images that recreate the simulacrum.

Crockett thinks he can resist this global system, thinks he can carve out a place of "tranquillity" that exists outside the flux. But this place no longer exists. In a world where a rapid edit is all that separates Miami beach from the slums of Columbia, where money darts back and forth on go-fast boats, where "product" circles the globe in Learjets, where identities are readily forged, created and abandoned at the click of a button, how can one truly hope to tear themselves away from the global system?

Man literalizes these themes toward the and of the film, when a sliding camera motion tracks the entwined hands of Tubbs and his lover. This same horizontal motion charters the disconnect between Crockett and his girl as she leaves on a boat (and their abandoned safe house). If Tubbs and his lover have connection in motion, it is only because they occupy the same professional space. But even this connection is fragile and hopelessly volatile.

(Part 2 of this essay can be found in my review of "Thief")
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9/10
Miami Vice is a cool, stylish, and quite frequently intense thriller.
jaysilentbob3718 August 2007
The first thing you need to know when you see Miami Vice, is that it's hardly anything like the trailers. While the insanely cool trailer makes this out to be a big, loud, mindless, shoot em' up action movie filled with car chases, explosions, and damsels in distress, the movie is actually anything but. They had to advertise the movie this way if they wanted to make money, but the fact is, if you go into this expecting what it was advertised as, you will be bored to tears, and most certainly hate the movie. I myself found the movie unbearably boring the first time I watched it. However, after a second viewing that I forced upon myself in my unwilling to be disappointed by such a cool looking film, I felt completely different about it. I was thoroughly entertained. Miami Vice is a gritty, intense, and often brutal, no- nonsense suspense drama that rewards patience and attention.

The plot is fairly simple, but the realistic way it's executed makes it feel complicated. It follows Miami cops Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell), and Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx), who are given a most difficult assignment. They are assigned to go undercover and infiltrate a major drug cartel, led by the ruthless Jose Yero, and find out who killed two undercover federal agents. Crockett and Tubbs, under fabricated identities, enter a world where their badges mean nothing, danger and violence is waiting around every corner, and if they show any signs of their real intentions, they will be killed on sight. It doesn't exactly help that Crockett falls in love with one of the cartel's most important members (Gong Li).

Miami Vice is a very intense film, which maintains a consistent tone of imminent danger. Although Crockett and Tubbs (or any characters in it for that matter) are never really developed, we fear for their lives when things get too far beyond their control. The knowledge of what would happen to them if their identities were to be uncovered keeps us on the edge of our seat from the moment they begin their assignment. Employing non-stop action, which many people complain about the lack of, wouldn't make sense in this movie, because it's about characters trying to avoid anything that could set it off. There is action in the film, and whenever it occurs, it is not glamorous, or stylish. It is gritty, and often disturbingly brutal. The characters aren't in control of it, they are just as confused and terrified as any normal person would be if they were caught in a chaotic shootout.

The action scenes, as gritty as they are, are still executed in a good enough way that they get your adrenaline flowing, and the climactic shootout includes one of the single best bad guy kills I've ever seen. The most suspenseful moment in the film comes from a hostage situation/standoff in a trailer park, where the tension becomes nearly unbearable. The scene culminates in one of the most bad-ass "cop movie" moments that I've seen in a while.

The cinematography and music in the film are excellent, and any fan of cinema has to appreciate it. There is little, if any artificial lighting in the film. There are beautiful shots of Miami, lit only by the lights of the city itself, and breathtaking scenes of planes in the air, soaring through the clouds. There are times when the movie almost comes to a complete halt, just to bask in the beauty of the imagery, and while many people find these scenes boring and unnecessary, I found them to be hypnotic, and I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. Personally, I found the numerous sex scenes more boring and distracting than these. And the music perfectly fits the tone of every scene it's used in. The opening nightclub sequence is a great example of both of these elements, one of the single coolest moments to a film I've ever seen.

As for the acting, it isn't easy to comment on, as the actors do very little of it. Most of the time, all their roles require is for them to talk in a serious, no-nonsense voice and never smile. Gong Li really needs to work on her English, and subtitles would come in handy for her scenes. Actually, I strongly recommend that you watch the whole film with subtitles, due to the fact that the way the characters talk quite often makes it difficult to understand the dialogue.

Miami Vice lacks character development, and substitutes atmosphere, and tense dialogue for mindless action. It never dumbs down it's story for the audience's sake, and plays exactly as it would in real life. If you're looking for a good police thriller that doesn't insult your intelligence, I strongly recommend Miami Vice to you. I love this stylish, underrated film, and give it a 9/10.

Miami Vice is rated R for strong violence, language, and some sexual content.

Sex- 8/10 Violence- 8/10 Swearing- 6/10 Drugs- 7/10
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3/10
Cool. Bring your iPod to drown out the talking.
anandare31 July 2006
A die-hard Michael Mann fan, I deeply respect all of his prior work and hold "Thief" and "Heat" in the highest regard. I essentially went into the theater to watch Miami Vice expecting a reaction similar to when I viewed "Ali" and "Collateral" on the big screen. I expected to see the big Mann pull off what I didn't think anyone else could pull off... restructuring the perception of a specific actor and producing an engaging and resonating plot in an otherwise skeptical script idea. In "Ali" I didn't believe Will Smith was the right choice but he worked and Jamie Foxx as Bundini was amazing. In hindsight I understood why he focused solely on the height of Ali's career. When "Collateral" was announced, I had severe doubts as to the believability of the plot, the choice of Tom Cruise as a villain and the decision to shoot on High Definition video. I've watched those two movies several times over and love them both.

So it was with Miami Vice that I didn't think Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx as a team were right for the roles. I also believed that the idea of recreating Miami Vice was a pure marketing scheme. I gave Michael Mann the benefit of the doubt considering he directed the TV series that I barely remember since I was only an adolescent. My only knowledge of Colin Farrell was that he was an Irish dude in "Minority Report". I was afraid Jamie Foxx would be a continuation of his "Collateral" "Max" character after he finds his balls.

Sure enough, for the first time, Michael Mann didn't sidestep my opinions. From the first scene in the nightclub, Jamie Foxx has taken over the actions of Tom Cruise. Break a bodyguard, step on him and look up past the camera. That was a great maneuver in Collateral, now I think it's cheese. So he's a tough dude. Colin Farrell is a charmer we learn immediately. So we'll expect sex scenes. Yeah. Too bad the characters are in the same camera shot but miles apart chemistry wise. It's just emotionally cold sex. There's no sense of a symbiotic relationship between Farrell and Foxx either. Both of them just seem to immediately know how to get things done and don't really do anything together that one couldn't do alone or with a randomly assigned partner. Their characters dominate every scene of possible tension and diffuse it immediately. Which is what I consider to be the film's second greatest weakness, the lack of tension and drama. We have to watch talk scenes. Characters talk to characters. Deceive characters by talking. Talk about deceiving by talking. Then fly or pilot a speedboat to talk somewhere else and talk over the phone. All quick witted and distant. It's all supposed to keep the audience wondering and guessing. Which is what it does, makes you wonder why any of it matters and try to guess if there will be any action or resonance with a character. Which is the film's greatest weakness.

You can't relate to any of the characters. All you are watching is a bunch of ethnically and gender diverse bad asses with cool cars, helicopters and boats go about being bad ass talkers and shooters. All presented in very fantastic heroism jumbled by dialogue, dialogue and more dialogue.

The only excitement comes from basic shootouts with shock value due to the timing of action and subsequent gore. But I'm not sure they're exceptional other than how they effectively remove you from the slow anxiety of watching the film not mean anything. The final one in particular seems like a low budget night rehash of the Heat shootout in the dark on grainy video with subpar sound effects.

There's no need to care for the characters. Gong Li is the film's only redemption. She acts with her body. Probably because she's not very good with English. It seems like one of the movie's major intents was to instill minority actors into invincible heroic roles. The white FBI agent is incompetent. White trash and jealous Latino dudes are the baddies, a random black pimp is just left to be. Come watch them get graphically shot to pieces by men and women of color. There's no internal development or conflict. They all talk and stare like Max at his turning point in Felix's club in "Collateral". There's no fear. Come in get the job done. Get er done! And we as the audience have to admire them for their cool cars and cool actions. Maybe only cool people like this movie. There's no depth or passion to any of it. Just cool people being cool in coolly stylized shots. And you won't even care about the questions it leaves unanswered cuz it's not cool to stress out over it. You might feel jealous or passionate and get shot in your "inner medulla by a bullet going 2750 feet per second".

I hope this isn't the start of Mediocre Michael Mann. The idea pains my heart.
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7/10
Cinematic adaptation from classic TV with action, suspense and violence
ma-cortes15 October 2007
This is a story about being undercover, and what happens when you go deep undercover.Particularly if you're doing an operation in a foreign country, where your badge doesn't count and where you can't have SWAT team surveillance you, and people are not in contact, you really are out on the edge. It's the allure of doing that undercover work and what happens to you when you're deep in that role of that fabricated identity. These roles protagonists(Colin Farrell,Jamie Foxx as Sonny Crockett and Tubbs) are filled by real deal. This is a cool film directed by Michael Mann. He tells that his ambitions with a picture like that was to really go exploring into some of diverse areas. It's shot in location Scout, South America. One of the exciting things about Michael Mann is the choosing real location all the time. We're dealing with environment that can often surprise us. Whether it's the light, whether it's dramatic moment with the sky, or some interior or some sort of background action that would not have happened in a controlled backlog situation. Michael gets this slickness, finding places, that, you know , that aren't even on the map.He makes as real as he possibly can. He's all about, why fake it, when you can do it for real? . The cameraman Dion Beebe gets a maximum chromatic saturation. The shooting in these places like Ciudad del Este is incredibly stimulating and exciting.It's a Tri-border area where Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina meet. It's such a unique part of the world. This town have people who are from Middle East, Lebanese and Syrians, a lot of ethnic Chinese and the country speaks Guarani, which is the indigenous language. These people were extras and director got to be pretty determined to get a crew to these places. Also was shot a lot of stuff in the Dominican Republic and in some areas, it took a lot of social engineering to be able to bring a film company in and shoot responsibly and shoot safely. The main shooting is Miami, it's kind of globalized city with a huge population and a lot of money, and lot of people from Haiti, Brazil, Venezuela Columbia. In the movie Miami seems to have elevated itself, up into the most sensual which is up into the air.It's reflected the storm systems, the clouds, the dramatic weather and nature in a very, almost tactile way. Filming in really swank, fantastic places, and the girls are still beautiful(Gong Li, Naomie Harris,Elizabeth Rodriguez) and the cars are still fast but doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the underbelly of Miami.The city is photographed with alluring, it's very attractive, very engaging , sensual and also very dangerous and things that we can see around the images; furthermore an atmospheric music score by John Murphy. The motion picture is well realized by the successful director Michael Mann.
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9/10
Cop thriller for adults
General_Cromwell11 August 2006
While this is called 'Miami Vice' and has the same names as the characters from the TV show, thats where the similarities end. This is a no nonsense undercover cop thriller. There are no 'buddy cops', wisecracks, car chases, or O.T.T action, so the casual movie goer is going to be a little bemused by what they are seeing. But fans of Michael Mann's work will be in seventh heaven, because this has all the director's trademarks.

There's some stunning camera-work (A lot of it digital), and some beautifully rendered sequences in this and some explosive action (But don't go expecting 'Lethal weapon' style action.) The trailer park stand off with the white supremacists was my favourite scene and an abject lesson in how to put suspense on screen.

Performances are all very good, right down to the smaller parts and the plot demands attention. I found the films running time flew by. Its so refreshing to see a cop thriller for adults, with no silliness and one that doesn't insult the audiences intelligence.

Best film so far this year.
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confusing and unsatisfactory
Special-K8829 July 2006
From director Michael Mann and based on the 1980s television series comes this flashy, but overlong and unfocused Miami action flick about Vice detectives Sonny Crockett (Farrell) and Ricardo Tubbs (Foxx) who must go deep undercover and throw their personal lives into disarray in order to stop an international drug trafficking scheme. Pulls you in with its stylish direction and flamboyant visuals, but the two leads have poor chemistry, character development is almost nonexistent, and the film drags on from one convoluted plot twist to the next. Action scenes provide a spark every once in a while, but overall the film is frustrating and never provides one single reason to care about any of its characters! A disappointment considering the cast and crew involved. **
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6/10
Not the MV I was expecting..
webontheweb7528 August 2006
I thought the movie was slick and stylish, yet Mann gave absolutely no nods towards one of the biggest t.v shows of all time, aside from the characters having the same names and residing in Miami.

Where was the boat? The alligator? The ex-wife? The kid? Where was Miami? The scenes shot there could have pretty much been anywhere on the coastline of the States. Mann reportedly said a few years back that Miami isn't an interesting place to him anymore. Well he made that quite apparent with his new version of Miami Vice.

I, against popular opinion, actually thought he made a good choice in Farell. I don't really like the guy but he seems to be convincing in most of his roles, and who's better to play a party hard, rough around the edges renegade than a party hard, rough around the edges, erm, renegade.. ahem. But as it's been stated over and over, Farell and Foxx had no chemistry whatsoever. They barely even looked at each other. In fact, Foxx's role could have pretty much been played as well by most African American actors, given the amount of screen time the guy had.

I came out of the movie feeling like I wanted to hit a club, drink mojito's and pick up a model. Which I did, almost.

Miami Vice was a slick cop story with a shaky plot and cool visuals. But if you're looking for any references to the series then forget it, aside from a crap cover version of In The Air tonight thrown on during the end credits (originally sung by Phil Collins in the series pilot).

What was great about the series was the style, the attitude, the music. The film got one out of three of those right.
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9/10
Well Paced, intelligent and beautifully shot
gerry-steele-111 August 2006
If you have seen Collateral by the same director, you have already seen a film that is almost identical in stylistic approach to Miami Vice. In fact several scenes are very similar indeed. As well as the frequent use of the vocal talents of Chris Cornell from Audioslave on the sound track.

The film is a "re-imagining", if you will, of the original TV series of which Mann was an Exec Producer. It is a Brooding and dark film that has no fear of the fantasy of giving two policemen a Lear Jet, a Ferrari, a speed boat, a Yaught and so on.

It is this marriage of action and toys with a dark and sometime incomprehensible plot that somehow works. Even at times it is difficult to understand what the characters are saying to each other.

All this aside this film is very good. The acting by Farrell and Foxx is first rate and some of the opening scenes are eye candy of the highest order. The closing gun fight is also worth seeing. If you think too hard about this movie you will see its flaws. But you won't care, and love it anyway. A unique trait that can perhaps be applied to the vagueness of the plot.
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5/10
Expected Much More
Bluewaterjack28 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was simply lacking.

It lacked everything that made MV great. Great soundtrack, flashy cars, and tongue in cheek devil may care attitude of Tubbs and Crocket.

This movie tried to be dark, and was just tired.

There was little chemistry between Fox and Ferrel and it was as if Mann had to write to parallel plots for each leading man. Two girls, two romances, two sex scenes, two shower scenes, two girls in distress scenes, etc.

Finally, for a relatively pedestrian plot, Mann left most of the plot twists hanging and unanswered. Who was the FBI leak, what was in the Russian crates, why was a Montoya a Russian working with a Chinese national using American skin heads as muscle, why did they need to be deputized by the FBI and what the hell ever happened to the FBI in the movie.

The movie just didn't rehash the magic of MV or reinvent itself.
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8/10
"Miami Vice" is a very exciting film—from start to finish…
Nazi_Fighter_David21 May 2007
Michael Mann presents the city of Miami as attractive, engaging, alluring, sensual and also dangerous…

This is a story about being undercover, and what happens when you go deep undercover, particularly if you're doing an operation in a foreign country, where your badge doesn't count and where you can't have a SWAT team surveilling you, and people are not in contact, you really are out on the edge…

Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) have to act, talk and walk like bad guys… They have to convince a mid-level trafficker, the Colombian José Yero (John Ortiz) that they are not cops… So they have to adapt themselves and change themselves to play the role they're trying to play… It's all the impulses in their personality with the volume turned up and the inhibitions turned off…

"Miami Vice" is not about one commodity, cocaine, and one geographical location, Columbia… It's about globalized forms of trafficking… Los Angeles to Port of Prince, to Guajira Peninsula, to Havana and, naturally, to Miami… Crockett and Tubbs had to deal with major narcotics traffickers that act as brilliant businessmen, at the upper echelons of command and control, sitting in luxurious houses, eating the best foods, driving the best cars…

Mann has, wisely, taken the format of the show presenting two cops confronting wealth and power after the death of one informant and the killing of his whole family…

As police drama go, "Miami Vice" does exciting things when Yero jacked one of the two Miami cops' people… The film is impeccable, especially in the last 30 minutes, when the police decided not to initiate until they've got Yero's shooters in their sights…
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9/10
A difficult but ultimately exhilarating piece of cinema
Aidan McQuade9 August 2006
There is almost a documentary quality to this movie. Aside from one short sequence the film almost exclusively focuses on the characters at work. In essence the film is about two groups of exceptionally competent professionals- one set cops, one drug dealers - at work. And their work is a cat and mouse conflict between the two. There are almost no exposition or explanatory scenes. Similarly the film makes no concessions to the viewers in terms of the use professional jargon and language. The viewer is thrown in at the deep end, as in many documentaries, and has to work out for themselves what is going on.

In other words the film treats its viewers as intelligent people and challenges them to understand. If you are prepared to accept the film on these terms then it is quite a stunning experience - beautifully shot, well acted, with some exceptional and realistic action sequences - by one of the finest directors alive.

This film is several leagues ahead of the brainless pulp that often passes for thrillers or action movies. Outstanding.
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5/10
Huh?
fullejo-130 July 2006
Just saw the film today- I am a big fan of Michael Mann' films but I must say I was somewhat disappointed. The story is realistic and believable, the acting was on point for the most part and of course the cinematography was excellent. The films biggest fault-unintelligible dialog. I viewed Miami Vice in a digital surround theater,and the effects-gunshots,helicopters,speedboats,sports cars etc.were plenty clear but I found myself straining to hear most of what the actors were saying. Of course, the heavy accents and macho low voice tones didn't help. Its a good drug/crime action movie but very far from the caliber of films Mann is known for(Heat,Collateral). I remember rushing home in the eighties to see Miami Vice,I don't think I ever missed an episode. Maybe I just expected too much.
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7/10
better than expected
hankyuloff-127 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Flashbacks of a white suit worn to the wedding of an ex-girlfriend's sister went through my mind when I saw that there was another Television show Turned Movie. Go ahead and laugh, but I am sure more than one of the men out there had an Angel's Flight suit or some other Don Johnson wannabe be piece of 80's kitch clothing.

I was very doubtful of the outcome until I saw they handed Miami Vice to director/writer Michael Mann. Mann, who brought us Heat, Ali, and Collateral adds another action film to his collection of hits with this version of the Miami Police Department's vice detective team of James 'Sonny" Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs. They're the guys who show up and make happen what the CSI folk figure out later.

In this Vice story, our heroes are about to break up a prostitution ring when they get a call from a non-active informant saying that there is something major going down and he is leaving. That this first story line goes away is good because it will give you a chance to get up to speed with the movie which starts above the speed limit in the very first frame and you need to get ready for the ride. This informant leads them to be assigned to an FBI task force investigating a drug ring that is going to involve Russians, Skinhead Nazis, Colombians and anyone else that can be thrown in. But that's not the important part. What is important is that the FBI task force has a leak that is getting agents killed. And since Miami PD is not part of it, Crockett (Colin Farrell from Phone Booth, Daredevil) and Tubbs (Jaime Foxx from Jarhead, Ray, Collateral) can be trusted to help the Feds get to the bottom of it.

Part of the charm of Vice, is that it doesn't stop to explain things to the slow kids in the audience. To Mann's credit, he doesn't dumb down the dialog to let us know the intricacies of what the main characters are talking about. There's no "Gee, if there is a bullet in his brain he was probably killed by the impact of it" pabulum that invades television cop shows. The characters all know what they are talking about and expect us to keep up or catch up during gunfire scenes. Also to Mann's credit, he does not throw in a stupid twist like Crockett and Tubb's boss is part of the conspiracy. That would have sucked. Don't worry, their boss is a good guy, like them.

The violence of Vice is another thing that is not dumbed or numbed down in this film. You don't just see a man getting shot and flying backwards from the impact, you see his insides come outside as each piece of lead tears apart the body. This is an R-rated film and it earns it. A strong warning to parents here if you think that the kids have seen cop shows and this is going to be the same..... NO.... This is lots of violence and it's not hidden by quick cuts and editing. And for those parents who don't mind their kids seeing bodies being ripped apart sinew by sinew, there are people having SEX, too! Good sex. With a 228 mile boat ride full of foreplay.

And speaking of those racing boats I have a quick side note here. This may be a plot problem but I am not sure. You know those Go-Go boats? The really fast racing ones? Do they have enough range to get from Miami to Havana? I didn't know the answer to that one and it might be something that needs 'xpalining. But by the time you see this scene, you will probably be completely entrenched in the story and can't wait to see the two characters in the boat get to Havana for a mojito and sex that you won't care.

I had been dreading this movie because if Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx were expected to act at all like their predecessors, it would have been a long couple of hours. But that did not happen. Farrell gets more screen time than Foxx, but they are both terrific. In looking back at Foxx's career, it was in another Mann film, ALI, that his career truly turned and he began getting away from the dufus parts to the serious Leading Man roles that he has had since. It was good to see him team up with Mann for the third time. He is an actor who is honing his craft and has become a reason to see a film. The best acting in the movie is turned, however, by John Ortiz, who plays Jose Yero, a mid-level management type in the crime syndicate. He is smart, and not so much evil as ruthless in running the business. Yero has been a lot of crime movies - The Opportunists, Narc, Ransom - but never anywhere close to top billing. This film could and should get him a lot more work, higher up the cast list. The Farrell love interest (there always IS one - it's in his contract) is Li Gong, last seen as the bad ass hooker Hatsumomo in Memoirs of a Geisha. I feel she was a little stilted and tight, but that might be the language block. When she is in scenes where she does not speak - and just relies on her body language, we see more of her abilities The soundtrack and sound are also terrific. Gunshots are loud and jarring and the background music makes you feel the heat on screen.

I enjoyed Miami Vice. It was much better than I expected and that does not happen enough for me. You need to like action flicks. Or watching Foxx and Farrell and Gong. But that is not difficult - Let it be your own little vice.
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9/10
Really good.
cody-shepherd5 September 2007
This isn't an action film, this is a good film.

I was skeptical at first. Colin Farrell tends to play the same character over and over, and Jamie Foxx, despite his talent, is often cast as the new Wesley Snipes. Strangely, both of those tendencies carry over into Miami Vice, but somehow the movie manages not to suck. Quite the opposite. It's really really good.

Over 130 minutes and somewhat thinly spread dialog means that an attention span is required. Also, it helps to have an appreciation of the visual and aural potentials of the film/video medium, as the movie is absolutely stunning in both respects. Furthermore, Mann uses a digital camera instead of celluloid, so the (narrative) action seems more real, or at least more apprehendable, somewhat like cinema verite, or the show COPS.

What is truly amazing here is the feat Mann has accomplished, whereby the production - the shots, the soundtrack and sound quality, the editing - is so masterful, at once brand new in technique but nostalgic in content, that it manages to endow what would otherwise be another cop drama (read: Lethal Weapon) with all kinds of emotional layering, narrative originality and character dynamic; the things that make movies great.

If you look for movies to appeal to your endocrine system rather than your brain, then maybe you'll be disappointed by Miami Vice. But if you like good movies, i.e. complexity without convolution, aesthetic without aloofness, tension without banality, then you'll probably thoroughly enjoy this one.
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8/10
Introduction scene
kenllee16 December 2006
Great movie...have to watch it with an open mind. You will have to watch it on its own merits and not compare to the series.

I considered the final shoot out scene to be one of the most accurately captured in movies with the gun shots sounding very real.

The characters is a very true reflection of Michael Mann's work and had lived up to his reputation.

I also like the introduction scene very much that prepares the audience of what is to come.

Does anyone know what is the name of the artist and music that is played in the nightclub in the introduction scene.

I think there are 2 pieces but then it could be one.
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10/10
Bring On the Vice!!!!
THEPIPEMAN6426 July 2006
Being a huge fan of the show my expectations were very high, so I was very worried about if this would be another bad TV to movie adaptation. Well my friends this took my breath away. The film is very raw and pulls no punches. It give you a hardcore look at the underground drug world. The acting is great, and the action is phenomenal. Foxx and Farrell pull off a great Crockett and Tubbs. If you are a fan of the show you will also see the characters: Gina,Trudy,Switeck,Zito,and Castillo. This is by far the best movie of the year,if you never see this film, then you have missed out on a great piece in cinema. This is Mann's best work since Heat. This is a Best Picture Nominee, and if they don't think so were they are just a bunch of overpaid political saps. I went with a friend that had never seen the show and he found it amazing. The story has a lot of detail so pay attention, and the love story might seem a bit long, but trust me it's worth it. So people buckle up for the wildest ride of the yea! VICE is back BABY!
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8/10
Mann lost it on this one.
DrStranglove31 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Saw it tonight; my take:

Casting: About the best I have seen of Ferrell since Minority Report. I was actually amazed that they made him look a lot like a young Don Johnson.

Barry Henley for Castillo though…. God he sucked. The Lt I loved was 1/2 Ninja and 100% cold bad ass good guy of few words. And when he spoke, you would have thought God was talking. Sadly, this Castillo was in too tight a shirt and was about to choke half the time. How did he get cast for that part? Mann MUST have lost a bet.

Elizabeth Rodriguez as Gina had the best scene in the whole movie, when she shot the Nazi. And it lasted 10 seconds and she was the baddest character in the show. Too bad it was only 10 seconds... my hopes raised but got dashed. The movie never got back to that high point.

Foxx… err… I still cant get past his Living Color days to take him seriously. And there was next to no chemistry between him and Ferrell. I kept expecting him to tell a joke.

Setting: It was said before, the was not Miami Vice, this was "-anywhere- Vice" The movie could have been set in LA, NYC or heck, Cairo!

Presentation: Where was the great epic gun fight we came to love in Heat? It was too dark and I had not a clue what was going on. I mean Switek is in the middle of the bad guys and they barely even notice him when the shooting starts. Then in the middle he just sort of vanishes?? What gives?? Bad editing and bad filming. And where was Sonny's Brenn 10?!?!?

All and all I blame the Mann. I give it 2 out of 10 stars. Mostly because I have so loved MM in the past that this destruction of a beloved memory by bad acting, bad casting, and non existent direction really hurts. Mann had a sure fire block buster and he will doubtless make some money but as for me I want my $10 back. Mann, how could you ruin Miami Vice like that?
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9/10
Mann's men are back in town!
Max_cinefilo8914 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Over the years, Miami has been the set of many television hits, most recently Nip/Tuck and of course CSI:Miami. The most popular show remains Miami Vice, which started breaking the barriers between big and small screen. Now, thanks to writer/director Michael Mann (who produced the series back in the '80s), Miami Vice receives the Hollywood treatment. However, that doesn't mean the movie is a ridiculous remake (Charlie's Angels) or a funny, if inspired, homage (Starsky & Hutch). This is a dark, strong, ferociously adult blockbuster, which doesn't flinch for a second from letting us know it's some ugly territory we're visiting.

In terms of style, Mann nails it from the beginning, with a beautiful opening sequence set in a disco (fans of Collateral will be happy). It is here that we first meet the film's protagonists, "Sonny" Crockett (Colin Farrell) and "Rico" Tubbs, who are supposed to lead a minor drug-bust operation. That is, until they receive a phone call from an informer (Deadwood's John Hawkes), who tells them he messed up, then kills himself. At this point, the FBI (represented by Ciaran Hinds' strict, unpleasant handler) decide to hire the two police officers to infiltrate a powerful organization that uses Miami as a transition point to bring in drugs from South America.

Saying exactly who does what inside the organization is a waste of time for two reasons: a) roles can change depending on the circumstances; b) it doesn't really matter. The important thing is our heroes' assignment gets increasingly more complex and dangerous, as Tubbs realizes his girlfriend might get killed and Crockett decides to spice things up a little by seducing the bad guy's mistress, Isabella (Gong Li, in her most convincing English-speaking part). Business as usual, then? Don't think so.

Looking back on Mann's CV, Miami Vice can be considered a perfect companion piece to Heat and Collateral, having inherited the latter's looks and the former's pacing (the really seminal events occur only in the last part of the movie). What it also has picked from both, and dramatically increased, is an everlasting ambiguity. One of the reasons Crockett and Tubbs infiltrate the drug world is the presence of a mole, hence the inevitable question: who is trustworthy?

Furthermore, the two protagonists' behavior is an example of ambivalence at its best: Tubbs and Crockett know the law, yet they're not unwilling to break it if such a thing is required. Crockett, in particular, played by a sublime Farrell (it's his best performance since Phone Booth), is a rebel who irreversibly crosses the line with Isabella: he knows it's wrong, and so does she (and that's probably not the only thing she knows), but there they are, regardless of the consequences. It's a relationship that perfectly symbolizes the duplicitous nature of the world we live in, and in this specific case the city where the events unfold.

Because of the conspicuous ambiguity, Miami Vice doesn't have a proper ending. In fact, it almost feels as if we're watching the first episode of a new season of the TV show. Now, given the director, the chances of a sequel being made are extremely thin. But what we have seen for two hours remains pure Mann: artful, exciting and undeniably gripping. And that's exactly what we asked for.
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1/10
I'd rather have toothpicks stuck in my eyes
bsilverbush-117 January 2007
Okay, I'll make this real easy: Q. What's good about this movie? A. Nothing. Q. Was there any part of the movie I liked? A. No. Q. And your reasons are? You've got to be kidding....where to start, there is no much that is God-awful about this "movie." Okay, I'll try. Direction: b o r i n g. Music: I can't even recall any. I mean, really; they could have used any of Jan Hammer's TV scores from over a decade ago, and that would've been a vast improvement. Acting: Jesus, I mean, with the box office draw they had, you think SOMEBODY would have put forth an effort? Totally, incredibly, bad acting. Action: Now here's what really ticked me off. The genre IS action, isn't it? Where was it? I mean, if you spend the money to rent some cigarette boats and exotic sports cars, shouldn't they be central to an adrenalin shocking chase scene? Nada. Sheesh! Anyway, I left the theater not only grossly disappointed, but feeling as though I had been "ripped off." This is one film that would have been better off left on the cutting room floor, and I mean all of it. Simply put: they don't come any worse.
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8/10
Miami Vice
DJO189Doke4 July 2007
I worked in law enforcement on the waters of South Florida from 1985 until 2001 having captained many high speed boats for drug interdiction. Many of the critics stated that this movie was not all that good. I watched it and enjoyed it a lot. It wasn't nearly as corny as the original Miami Vice TV series.

I can't help but get a little frustrated when there is a lack of detail in a movie. In one of the final scenes, couldn't someone have noticed that the speedboat operated by Sonny Crocket (Colin Ferrell) had their bow navigation lights on backwards? The red is suppose to be on the port (left) side with the green on the starboard (right) side. Obviously this was just a minor oversight.

All in all, I thought the movie was really good and would suggest it to others to view.

Don
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1/10
The vice here is the mediocrity
omega7869 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
After reading a few reviews on some well known film sites i thought this was going to be great...but the totally opposite was true. What a huge disappointment. The plot was going from one place to another and at times just gave you one big headache. Poor red herrings and over the top sub plots were shown to us as believable (I think not!). The film was just one sub plot over another and a zig zag of labyrinthian proportions of where the film should be going. And how about this for corny dialogue...'probability is like gravity...'? er..yeah, like dog crap and cheese are identicial???

It seems Michael Mann is a one (HEAT) hit wonder, and simply adding a 10 minute gunfight lifted straight out of HEAT at the end of the movie is not going to save it.

If you want to watch a decent cop thriller check out the little known 'Dirty' a superior film by a lesser known director.

Avoid this Miami VICE and buy the TV series instead.
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You can't trust this brand of snow from Miami
knight3k29 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Mann what happened?????!!! This movie has me split on two levels. First Vice is iconography at its best. I mean lets face it, to have Miami Vice you have to have a Ferrari, a cigarette boat, clothes, and a black and white cop named Tubbs and Crocket. If you take those elements and attach Michael Mann to it, you get Vice right---WRONG!!!!!!! WRONG WRONG... Second, damnit, I am just completely let down by the acting of both leads... This was in my opinion rushed so Universal could start their own TV to Motion Picture franchise market. This simply did not sell to me. These characters the 06 incarnation lacked heart. The characters were not developed; there is at best pseudo empathy for the heroes. To me, if I could recast the leads, as Crockett, would be Jason Statham and as Tubbs, Terrance Howard. To me, that's a more believable combination than what I saw on screen last night. Where this fell down dramatically was in thrusting the audience into the action without any retelling of the backstory. Who are these two and how they met really was the foundation of what drove the show and made people comeback week after week for four years. There is no element of fidelity between the two partners and the chemistry really appears to be forced between Foxx and Farrell. But with what I saw, and please do not let my opinion sway you one way or the other, but it looked like Heat met Collateral in Miami. That just didn't look right. To me this boiled down to a shutem up in Miami that was thoughtless and mindless. No real calculation on anybody's part. I mean what I was a video game. Visually, this is a breath taking version of MV. I especially enjoyed seeing the updates of the many of the characters, Tubbs, is a pilot, Trudy, intell operative, Gina, SWAT Team weapons expert, Castio, a more active role in the takedown.. But what happened to Crocket? Crocket looks like an unpolished southerner. I really hate to say it like this but this Crocket looks like he missed casting for last year's Dukes of Hazard. What I liked best about the TV Crocket is that he appeared to have real problems which grounded him to some sense of reality. He was in the midst of a divorce and would have switch between the two roles. In Heat, this was executed flawlessly as we saw Deniro's character tip toe between a normal life and his life as a criminal. Pachino did the same thing with his character Vincent Hanna, he's trying to maintain a marriage while having to switch into his police mode which actually flirts on the razors edge of right and wrong. I didn't see that here, the edge, not the edge of action but the edge of identity--fabricated identity was the term used in the movie and they talked about it, but they didn't execute it....
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1/10
the movie is crap
tony_coptic18 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
the movie was bad, couldn't understand half the words, movie was too long and contained random inappropriate scenes in an attempt to recapture the viewers attention.

there was fast cars, high class but, there were never really used , only 2 shooting scenes, and 1 car scene.This movie was a waste of money and time, i will like to see how much profit is made!

also, if you do decided to go to this movie, it would be wise to take a book with you ,as you will get bored.

The characters as well, need to speak more clearly.

.
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1/10
Dark, Dingy, Seedy...and thats just the acting
niallfinnegan27423 August 2006
I recently had the profound displeasure of viewing this film. Along with my two amigo's, I was shocked by the dearth of quality in this film. The first thing I picked up on was the lack of lighting. It was scarce throughout the film, leaving faces indistinguishable. As such, facial expressions were rendered completely useless.

Next, I come to the completely inadequate dialogue. For a start it was entirely in another language. I don't speak gangsta, and relied on my friend who is a fan of rap to translate what rare segments of speech were audible. One man had only two lines I heard and comprehended. "Still no shooter," and "Calm down!" were the sole words I understood from the mouth of the police chief.

Finally, the plot. I am still speechless as to how to two "undercover" police men managed to infiltrate the biggest drugs cartel in the world on what seemed to be a whim. Their brand of police work seemed to consist of sleeping with anyone they can, while coincidently finding clues. Miss Marple would be better suited to the case.

Please: DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS FILM.
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