|Index||7 reviews in total|
36 out of 45 people found the following review useful:
Daryl Hannah, Drugs and Dics, 10 May 2008
Author: Rack-Focus from Manhattan
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Vice" is a low budget cop noir movie where everyone is flawed, corrupt
It tries to be another "LA Confidential" or even "Street Kings" but falls short due to its simple characters and sets and limited plot.
Like other cop noir, this one begins with a voice-over. Michael Madsen's "Walker" stands in a church observing how no one is really alive. We're just all dead or dying. From there we jump to streetwalker sex and then a drug bust gone bad. During the take down, one of the dealers escapes in a bloody shootout - setting up the rest of the movie. Cops involved in the bust start dying and the Feds come in to investigate.
So who's killing the vice cops? Is it vengeful drug dealers - or members of the unit with secrets to hide? Or maybe it's a homicide cop on the take? Soon no one trusts anyone and everyone is a suspect.
We'd care more about the answers to those questions if the movie had more depth or complexity. It does not. The main character, Madsen's "Walker," is the typical blunt instrument. His main skill is dogged determination. His job is to find out who's killing his vice detectives and why. The rest of his crew is similarly one dimensional, making it hard to care about anyone as they die.
The limited sets contribute to this feeling of apathy. Walker moves in circle that soon becomes repetitive. It's back and forth between the cop shop, a bar and his car. He's like a player caught in an endless video game loop with no way out.
The best part of this film is watching Executive Producer (yes EP) Daryl Hannah slum around. Her "Salt" is a pick-up truck driving undercover narc who looks like Liv Tyler on a bad hair day. The most innocent of the vice cops, Hannah's "Salt" spends most of the movie with her beautiful baby blues covered by black bangs as if she doesn't want to see all the corruption around her.
The movie does end with a nice twist and since everyone has secrets, there are enough red herring to keep you guessing until the end.
My advice, get this one when you have a free video rental coupon.
6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Just a response, 17 January 2009
Author: Literate_Fool from United States
Classic bete noire: The genre persists in many forms.
Vice is not a "slow" movie, nor is it pedantic. Vice does require intense attention to each participant and the environment, as it should, for the writer and director show common people in extraordinary circumstances.
Madsen and Hanna may not seem "common", but see them at the bottom of the ladder in their environment. The acting is exquisite, the sets sublime (in the sense that they disappear and yet contribute a force on the viewer), and all is wholly believable.
Vice is paced to the stark reality of an undercover existence, of competing loyalties, of personal trust and values, of redemption. Best of all: It takes until the very end of this film, but there is resolution.
A hard film, but well worth the effort.
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyable, Lives Up To It's Name, 15 February 2011
Michael Madsen is an actor who seems stuck to the "Mr. Orange" role he
played in Tarantino's masterpiece Reservoir Dogs, and that's not a
tradition he breaks here in Vice. The cover looked promising, with
Madsen holding a shotgun and Daryl Hannah below him. Looked good and
Madsen plays Max Walker, one of those tough 'personal-demons' cops who fills a mysterious hole in his life with prostitutes and booze. His partner, Salt (Hannah), covers Walker at the beginning by planting evidence. Even before that, Walker has a long conversation with a prostitute, that ends in the obvious. The other members of Walker's department are equally as corrupt, or dubious as to the corruption. Suddenly, a string of murders are committed and Walker finds himself in the middle of it.
The plot sounds stereotypical, and it is. The film is a collection of classic clichés that somehow cinch together masterfully. Nothing about this movie sounded good, I only watched it to numb my brain after a tough day. I found myself increasingly glad I watched.
The acting is great. Madsen knows he's playing a scumbag and plays a great one. He's Mr. Blonde again, but it's a role he knows well and it showcases his talents. Hannah is a bit of a bait-and-switch, but what screen time she has is fine. The supporting cast also remarkable, including Mykelti Williamson (Bubba from Forrest Gump), John Cassini, and the always fantastic Mark Boone Junior.
For a film that is 70% talk, the dialogue is really good. I was interested in these characters and their lives, especially the lines given to Madsen. He does a great job with the lines he's given, which are noir one-liners that fit great with the source material. The pacing is slow but the dialogue and action make up for it.
Overall Vice was an enjoyable little action film that gave me what I wanted; Noir Crime with Mystery and a great main character to follow. Enjoy.
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
This is what a thousand other filmmakers have tried to create and failed., 24 May 2011
Author: MBunge from Waterloo, Iowa
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There should have been a lot of gnashing of teeth and muttered
resentments when this movie debuted, because Vice is the sort of dark,
urban crime drama that a thousand filmmakers have tried to create. 999
of them fail, sometimes spectacularly so. This is that one success. It
takes the Mel Gibson character from Lethal Weapon, strips away all the
Hollywood artifice and then plunges him into a world of overlapping
corruption and deceit. Featuring powerfully unadorned dialog, several
excellent scenes where we get to see some gifted actors stretch out
inside their characters' skin and broodingly strong direction that
snaps into the offbeat at perfect, unexpected moments, this film could
be just as appropriately titled "Virtue".
Walker (Michael Madsen) is a narcotics cop beaten down and burned out to the point of nihilism. With a dead wife in his rearview mirror, he's either on the job, buried in a bottle or paying a hooker to stuff her hand down his pants. After an undercover drug bust goes wrong in more ways than one, the members of Walker's squad start turning up murdered and he has to team up with Salt (Daryl Hannah), the sullen, distaff member of the team, as both Feds and gangbangers start circling around like hungry sharks. With lies and the truth swirling around him until he can't tell which is which, Walker is left with nothing but bloody vendetta to see him through.
Michael Madsen has spent most of the years since Reservoir Dogs recycling his performance from that film, to the point where he sometimes comes off like a standup comedian doing a Michael Madsen impersonation. Vice is a reminder of how outstanding that performance was and how good it can still be when it's channeled through a worthy script. He plays Walker as a man at the end of his rope who's surprised at how tightly he's still holding on. Daryl Hanna is also wonderful as Salt, letting the cop's wounded pride and desperate need to belong seep out of her every pore. Mark Boone Junior and Aaron Pearl only have one scene each where they get a chance to shine, but they almost steal the whole movie when they do.
The best part of Vice, however, is its dissection of the partnership bond between police officers. Cops are required to put their lives in each other's hands, often in the hands of people they don't really know. It isn't a union based on choice or fellowship. It's built out of necessity and this film does a great job at delving into the forced, artificial nature of such a relationship and how some commit to it and some don't.
Writer/director Raul Inglis does a frequently exceptional job. He crafts memorable dialog while avoiding anything that sounds overly intricate or false. He carefully shepherds along the central mystery of the story, which I didn't figure out until about 15 seconds before it was revealed, presenting it not as a puzzle to be solved but as an unknown to be navigated through. He also throws something different at the audience ever so often, an unexpected visual or narrative spark that keeps the viewer plugged in to what's going on.
Now, some might be put off by the rather languid pace of Vice and not everyone in the cast is up to the standard of Madsen, Hannah, Boone Jr. and Pearl. Folks weaned on Tarantino and his legion of wannabes might also squawk at something that isn't hyper-witty or drowning in homage and aphorisms, but I think any complaints about Vice have as much to do with the viewer as they do with the movie.
I enjoyed this film and how it never settled completely into any of the well worn grooves of this genre. Throw in some bare boobs, startlingly unexpected violence and a buck naked guy on a chain link fence, and Vice is definitely something people should see.
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
This was OK, 26 October 2008
Author: tomihlexx87 from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I picked this movie up at a mickey d's red box and i wasn't expecting anything special. I figured if it was i would have heard about it. What i got was an OK cop movie with a kick ass cast. Madsen was awesome especially in the overdubbed readings. It made me wish he would have been max Payne instead of mark. Hannah managed to look about 10 years younger and she played the shy girl cop very well. But what made the movie for me was the addition of Alex Krycek( nick lea ) from the x-files. That put a huge smile on my face. So what holds this movie back? Well the writing was pretty weak and the story had more than a couple holes. I liked the idea of a drug bust that changes everyones lives through paranoia and broken trust. The thing that really brought the movie down though was the surprisingly bad acting in some scenes. Mostly scenes with Hannah and Madden. The car scene where walker and Sampson get into an argument and walker says, "do you wanna f**k with me" was possibly the worst scene of Michael Madsens career. not a bad movie. You should see it just for Nick Lea and Madsen together.
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Good but, Madsen in the lead is rather weak, 27 November 2008
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Michael Madsen is a hard living cop that finds his crew dying after a drug bust goes wrong. Madsen does his best, but the film seems to get away from him. I don't know if its because he's not strong enough to be lead character but he comes off the worse for ware in a good but unremarkable film which requires little of him other than to talk tough and look mean which reciting meaningful narration. Actually I'm picking on the writing which is actually pretty good and I liked some of the pithy lines of dialog and philosophical narration. Actually the trouble is Madsen who just sort of stands there and broods in a leather jacket. Better is Daryl Hannah looking very good and mean with her hair dyed jet black. Good but not great, worth a look in mindless mode.
12 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
Vice moves slow, 4 December 2008
Author: David Motolo from Laguna Beach, Ca
I'm a little shocked that Michael Madsen was in this movie. He is one talented actor. He could have done much better than getting involved with Vice. I tried to keep from stopping the DVD player to pull Vice out. But that's what I did. The movie is sloooooooow. It moves at a crawl. Super boring action. I don't know when I officially had to turn it off before it put me to me sleep. I do recall Daryl Hannah talking to Michael Madsen in car then getting out. Daryl Hannah is way hotter with curves than she was in Wall Street. She's a timeless beauty. Even Michael and Daryl could not save this one. The plot written on the DVD sounded like it was was going to be smoking like a inferno of action. It was more like a match of boredom. The DVD was only playing 20 minutes before my GF asked me what's this about. It was taking so long for a plot to develop that it lost us. If you need help going to sleep one night rent Vice. It will do the trick.
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