Miami Vice

"Bad"

Miami Vice Review


You can learn a lot about Michael Mann's updated Miami Vice by listening to Glenn Frey. It's true. Many questions surrounding this remake are answered using the lyrics to Frey's prophetic "Smuggler's Blues," a song made famous by the seminal 1980s buddy-cop drama that sold sex and sidearms on South Beach.For instance, why would Mann - a respected filmmaker riding a decade-long creative hot streak - blow the dust off a hopelessly dated property he last executive-produced almost 20 years ago? As Frey sings, "It's the lure of easy money. It's got a very strong appeal." And why would a studio support Mann's impulsive let's-get-the-band-back-together decision after projects from Bewitched to The Dukes of Hazzard demonstrate that audiences don't care to relive the past? Frey confesses, "It's a losing proposition. But one you can't refuse."In its prime, the television-sized Vice influenced the fashion industry, peddled synthesizer-laden soundtracks, and made Don Johnson a household name. This realistically superficial recycling, however, will cure insomnia, set the advancement of digital cinematography back a few years, and unsuccessfully argue in favor of the mullet as an acceptable coif style.The story lost me almost immediately, but looked cool doing it. Undercover detectives James "Sonny" Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) are deep into one case when a former informant contacts them claiming that a deal he was working went bad. To clean up the mess, Crockett and Tubbs must infiltrate a sprawling drug cartel lorded over by menacing Jose Yero (John Ortiz, mimicking Al Pacino's Tony Montana character) and sultry Isabella (Gong Li, her broken English disrupting half of her lines).Vice marks a return for Mann in multiple ways. He's back on the beach with Crockett and Tubbs, characters he last manipulated in 1989. More importantly, it's the director's first mature cops-and-robbers thriller since 1995's Heat, a modern classic which also presented an in-depth analysis of individuals operating on opposite sides of the law. Part of Heat's allure, though, was the intimate knowledge we collected about Pacino's bulldog detective and Robert De Niro's elusive thief. Watching the former sacrifice his marriage and family life for the sake of the job added juicy drama to his otherwise routine investigation.Vice lacks that human touch, those insights into the men away from their beats. Mann ladles on ample attitude, while his chiseled leading men provide plenty of posturing. Mannequin Vice might have made for a better title. Foxx and Farrell buy into the shout-and-scowl method, with an emphasis on the latter. But the script neglects to fill in details about Sonny and Ricardo beyond quick peeks into their active bedrooms. It's a fault built into the premise. These men exist deep undercover, so the lives they lead are smokescreens - which makes it difficult to care whether they continue to blow smoke or not.As a whole, the stiff and procedural Vice moves too slowly to hold our interests. It's a thinking-man's summer picture, code for "no action, plenty of conversation." Normally that's fine, but Mann pens lines that would have been too cheesy even for the '80s program. Crockett repeatedly claims, "No one has ever treaded where we are now." We just don't believe him. One villain barks, "He wants to promise them silver, but pay them in lead!" James Bond's foes made more effective threats.Oscar-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe continues to experiment with digital technology at Mann's request. It works when the action shifts to the open seas, but his night shoots produce muddy visuals that - while realistic - are ugly and drab. I guess when compared to the original Vice's pastel color scheme, it's an improvement.Frey once again gets the last words. I'm paraphrasing a few of his somber lyrics so that they properly sum up how I felt leaving my screening. I'm sorry it went down like this, and the audience had to lose. It's the nature of this business. It's the critic's blues.Watch that wake!


Miami Vice

Facts and Figures

Run time: 134 mins

In Theaters: Friday 28th July 2006

Box Office USA: $63.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $63.5M

Budget: $135M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 47%
Fresh: 91 Rotten: 103

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Anthony Yerkovich,

Starring: as Detective Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs, as Detective James "Sonny" Crockett, as Isabella, as Montoya, as Trudy Joplin, as Zito, as FBI Agent Fujima, as Jose Yero, Elizabeth Rodriguez as Gina Calabrese, as Switek, as Nicholas, as Alonzo Stevens, Vivienne Sendaydiego as ER Doctor, Mike Pniewski as ER Doctor, as Neptune

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.