Sunday, July 30, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Miami Vice

Michael Mann has returned with another gritty, urban tale about cops and crooks and the war they wage. This film fits right in with his previous films Collateral, Heat and Manhunter showing the really brutal side of undercover police work. It was magnificently photographed as the scenes switched back and forth from Miami, to Haiti, Cuba and parts of South America. I really enjoyed the film but I actually want to catch another screening because they were so technical with the dialogue that I had trouble keeping up with what they were talking about. I was never a real huge fan of the Miami Vice TV show but I gotta say if that show was anything like this, I would certainly be an avid watcher.

Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Ricardo Tubbs (Jaime Foxx) are undercover vice cops who get dragged into a personal case concerning an old C.I. (Criminal Informant) of theirs who is exposed as a Federal stoolie by a very serious drug cartel. Crockett and Tubbs prove their loyalties to this drug kingpin, Montoya (Luis Tosar), by acting as drug runners for the cartel. They use supercharged boats called Go-Fast Boats. Crockett attempts to get cozy with Montoya's woman, Isabella (Li Gong), and things start to go downhill fast. Montoya's top Lt. Jose (John Ortiz) doesn't trust Crockett and Tubbs and he tries to find ways to undermine them.

As I said the film is dirty, dark and violent, no pastels in this movie I can tell you. Rather than a smart-alecky Don Johnson you have a reserved steely eyed Colin Farrell who seems very capable and dangerous. I don't honestly remember Rico from the original show but I will say the only negative to this film is that they don't allow Jaime Foxx to do a little more. His Tubbs is definitely more than just back up in fact he has one of the best bad ass moments in the film, I won't say which one but you will know when you see it. The other belongs to one of the Vice crew, Gina, when they have a standoff with a couple of Klansmen, let me just say that she had the most intense bad ass moment of the whole film. The entire theatre erupted at the same time with a ---Damn!--- The locales were gorgeous as well as disturbing and the action sequences were top notch, sometimes it felt as if I was watching the COPS reality show that used to play on FOX with very shaky camera movements and in your face intensity. There were also good performances from Cirian Hands as F.B.I. Agent Fujima and from Barry Shabaka Henley as the very straight forward and almost unemotional Lt. Castillo. No one does crime stories better than Michael Mann, he gets into the mind of both the predator and the prey, the cop and the robber and he makes you feel sympathy for both, but in the case of this film he shows the technological power of the modern criminal and what lengths Crockett and Tubbs must go to in order to bring them down.

Grade: 5 Buckets

1 comment:

Speck said...

I finally caught this today.


BOOORING!!!

The movie had a ton of potential, but Mann watered it down with sparsely played out scenes that went no where, or had little point.

Miami Vice was a bad love story hidden inside a idea of drug deals and deception...and only some of the action scenes were great to watch.

I was let down...even though I went in expecting to be let down.