Ricardo Tubbs is urbane and dead smart. He lives with Bronx-born Intel analyst Trudy, as they work undercover transporting drug loads into South Florida to identify a group responsible for three murders. Sonny Crockett [to the untrained eye, his presentation may seem unorthodox, but procedurally, he is sound] is charismatic and flirtatious until - while undercover working with the supplier of the South Florida group - he gets romantically entangled with Isabella, the Chinese-Cuban wife of an arms and drugs trafficker. The best undercover identity is oneself with the volume turned up and restraint unplugged. The intensity of the case pushes Crockett and Tubbs out onto the edge where identity and fabrication become blurred, where cop and player become one - especially for Crockett in his romance with Isabella and for Tubbs in the provocation of an assault on those he loves.Written by
When the Aryan boss calls to change the final meet location to the shipyard, its still dark out. But when Tubbs and Crockett drive off to the to the meet the sky is much lighter. When they arrive at the shipyard it is again pre-dawn darkness. See more »
Although there were no opening credits in the theatrical release, the Unrated Director's Cut contains credits over a new sequence that opens the film. Once the credits are done, the film begins in the nightclub scene that opened the theatrical version. See more »
The unrated director's cut adds 7 minutes of unseen footage:
A 3 minute long boat race with opening credits
After the boat race there is a 1 minute scene where Crockett and Tubbs watch Detective Switek negotiate a deal with Neptune.
A line of dialogue from Alonzo (when hes driving) where he says "pick up some sh*t" has been removed
A line of dialogue where Crockett says "those are some skill sets" when looking at the satellite images of the speed boats has been removed
A brief, 30 second, scene where Nicholas calls Yero to set up the deal with Crockett and Tubbs
A scene from the theatrical cut when Crockett and Tubbs walk around an outside balcony at their hotel and walk in on Isabella and her men has been deleted. In the unrated cut, they go into their hotel room, they get a phone call, and they go to meet Montoya.
4 minutes of new footage over two scenes: After meeting Montoya, Tubbs calls Trudy to ask if everything is alright. She thanks him for some flowers that were sent to her. Tubbs tells her he didn't send them. After this phone call Tubbs and Trudy are in a diner talking about the flowers and how its part of being undercover.
A new shot in the airplane sequence where Tubbs identifies himself as flight zero-zero-zero and Zito in the other plane acknowledges him.
A 1 minute scene of Crockett and Isabella on a balcony when they are in Cuba. Isabella tells Crockett that she grew up in this house and how her mother was a surgeon.
The song "In the air tonight" performed by Nonpoint now plays leading up to the final shootout
When Isabella is coming over for the exchange before the shootout, someone saying "where you going bitch?" has been removed
A 1 minute scene after Crockett and Isabella leave the shootout, she hits and punches Crockett while he's driving. The car skids out and he ties her hands up.
A brief shot at the safe house when Crockett cut Isabella's hands free
The end credits have been shortened (because of the new opening credits) and Nonpoint's "In the air tonight" no longer plays. Now the credits play "One of these mornings" performed by Moby. (The Moby song is the second song during the theatrical credits)
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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