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Miami Vice (2006)
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Review Date: August 25, 2006
Director: Michael Man
Writer: Michael Mann
Producers: Pieter Jan Brugge, Michael Mann
Actors:
Colin Farrell as Sonny
Jamie Foxx as Tubbs
Gong Li as Isabella
Plot:
A couple of slick undercover Miami cops get involved in a very serious drug trade with some nasty narcotics dealers, and at the same time, attempt to get to the bottom of an apparent leak in the FBI. The boys also hook up with some chicks and act really, really, really serious the whole way through. None of the style, action and inherent fun of the TV series makes its way into the film, but I suppose they did that on purpose. Then again, why name your movie after the show if you’re not going to relate it in any way?
Critique:
What a boring movie. Coming from the man behind such classics as THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, HEAT and COLLATERAL, I was expecting to be either blown away or pulled deeply into an engaging plotline about drugs, guns, bad guys and all kinds of cool crime shit, but about an hour into this movie, I was still wondering what the heck everyone was doing, and why I should give a shit. It felt like the entire movie was based around one drug deal, and despite the jargon sounding real, the locations looking real and most of the acting coming through (more on Gong Li later), authenticity alone does not a movie make, and with nary a memorable scene or line in the film, I was bored stupid most of the way through this thing and left wondering where the film’s apparent $130M budget went. The directing was cool and gritty, with Mann continuing to use digital cameras here and there, Farrell seemed to be enjoying himself as Sonny (love the moustache!), but I could have cared less about anybody else, particularly Jamie Foxx’s character, who was about as one-dimensional as they come (who was this guy?). Also, someone gets really hurt at some point in the movie, placed in a life/death situation in the hospital but you barely even know the person by that point, and are supposed to care about them?

Furthermore, any scene featuring Chinese actress Gong Li added the extra component of having to guess at what exactly was being said as about 50% of her dialogue simply didn’t make it through my translation machine (and she was speaking English!). The romance between she and Farrell also felt forced and didn’t work for me (zero chemistry) which sucks because the second half of the film seemed to focus on that lame aspect of the picture, rather than the cool drug/crime stuff. Also, if you’re looking for action and suspense, this film is not for you, as its first gunfight shows up about 1 hour and forty-five minutes into the movie, and while a pretty cool shoot-out sequence finishes things off, most of the time people are talking, moving about (via cool cars, cool boats and cool planes) and talking some more (“You gonna deliver the keys of coke to such-and-such place, and we’ll deliver the money at such-and-such time”). I honestly didn’t care about anyone or the plotline of this movie, which generally suggests a subpar film and is exactly what we get here. Maybe it’ll go down easier on DVD (it putters on for about 130 minutes), especially with the subtitles on for Li’s performance, but overall, the film lacked energy, excitement and an interesting plotline, all of which are elements that one simply cannot do without in a crime flick. That said, go out and rent fuckin’ NARC instead and see the ultimate undercover cop flick!
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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4:03AM on 08/22/2007
After all this time, I just saw it and loved it. Slick action, smart dialogue, excellent production values, and great performances.
After all this time, I just saw it and loved it. Slick action, smart dialogue, excellent production values, and great performances.
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2:09PM on 04/25/2007

What a waste of film

This movie had nothing going for it. The only thing that was good in the movie was the end. as in when the credits starting comiing on the screen. This movie could of been better if the story line was good. It dragged for a while. They emphasized the story too much on one character and it felt like he had no partner. More could of been done to save the movie. I'd stick to the tv show.
This movie had nothing going for it. The only thing that was good in the movie was the end. as in when the credits starting comiing on the screen. This movie could of been better if the story line was good. It dragged for a while. They emphasized the story too much on one character and it felt like he had no partner. More could of been done to save the movie. I'd stick to the tv show.
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6:50AM on 08/31/2006

Best cop movie since Seven

Miami Vice is the best movie of the year and probably the best cop movie since Seven. Nothing like teen cop movie like BB2. This is an intelligent well writen, excellent directing and a perfect photography.
Miami Vice is the best movie of the year and probably the best cop movie since Seven. Nothing like teen cop movie like BB2. This is an intelligent well writen, excellent directing and a perfect photography.
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5:11PM on 08/28/2006

We don't need to take it back that far.

Yeah, but ceejceej - We don't need to take it back that far. Bad Boys LITERALLY references Miami Vice. They go under cover as Cooper and Burnett. That's my point - why wouldn't you have just originally compared Vice 2006 to Starky and HUtch, TJ Hooker, and CHiPs otherwise? Because you were referring to the bit of two undercover cops in Miami who wear expensive clothes and drive expensive cars, which is what Miami Vice was known for in pop culture.

Don't get me wrong, Vice 2006 does
Yeah, but ceejceej - We don't need to take it back that far. Bad Boys LITERALLY references Miami Vice. They go under cover as Cooper and Burnett. That's my point - why wouldn't you have just originally compared Vice 2006 to Starky and HUtch, TJ Hooker, and CHiPs otherwise? Because you were referring to the bit of two undercover cops in Miami who wear expensive clothes and drive expensive cars, which is what Miami Vice was known for in pop culture.

Don't get me wrong, Vice 2006 does reference the original show - A LOT. It's basically an almagam of "Smuggler's Blues", "Calderon's Return", and "Nobody Lives Forever" among others.

I don't know - I kind of look at it like if someone heard the Eric Clapton Unplugged version of "Layla" and said, 'Oh, he ripped that song off of John Fahey, who featured Layla on his 1984 album Let Go."

I found aspects of the movie to be creative, because to me it was the first movie to take the fun out of those achetypes we are really familiar with - the cool undercover cops, etc. The movie had a lot of nuance, and for instance, the way Yero has handled -- If it'd been any other movie, you know that Tubbs would have cracked some line reminded us of Jason Pollack. Aesthetically, the movie was unlike anything I've seen in a big budget film, with a well-known story-line. But I'd rather save all of these opinions for the discussion about Vice on the main boards: http://www.joblo.com/forums/showthread.p
hp?s=&threadid=102911
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4:23PM on 08/27/2006

waitaminit

If you really want to take it back bubba, MV/BB2 takes it's cues from Starsky and Hutch. and TJ Hooker. and Chips. and any other buddy cop movie/tv show. so there really is nothing new under the sun. I just wish they'd been more creative with the soup.
If you really want to take it back bubba, MV/BB2 takes it's cues from Starsky and Hutch. and TJ Hooker. and Chips. and any other buddy cop movie/tv show. so there really is nothing new under the sun. I just wish they'd been more creative with the soup.
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11:12AM on 08/26/2006

LOVED IT!

I personally loved this slick-ass film! The story and the directing style had me engaged. The love thing between too kool for school Crockett and that Asian chick had me by the balls and the seldom yet groovy action scene hit the spot. Yeah Tubbs was under developped, but it was pretty much the same in the show. I can't wait for the DVD!
I personally loved this slick-ass film! The story and the directing style had me engaged. The love thing between too kool for school Crockett and that Asian chick had me by the balls and the seldom yet groovy action scene hit the spot. Yeah Tubbs was under developped, but it was pretty much the same in the show. I can't wait for the DVD!
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4:58PM on 08/25/2006

Awesome movie

It's a procedural film, and apparently no one cares. Well, I did. The movie had all the things I loved about the TV show - the brooding, tension, stylistic quarks. That was something that surprised me since so many detractors said it was void of the show - by void they meant it wasn't set in the 80s. Even Klaus B's track A-500 sounds resoundingly like Crockett's Theme, and I surprised that so many of the people who claim to be so up on the show didn't noticed that.

Miami Vice was similar to
It's a procedural film, and apparently no one cares. Well, I did. The movie had all the things I loved about the TV show - the brooding, tension, stylistic quarks. That was something that surprised me since so many detractors said it was void of the show - by void they meant it wasn't set in the 80s. Even Klaus B's track A-500 sounds resoundingly like Crockett's Theme, and I surprised that so many of the people who claim to be so up on the show didn't noticed that.

Miami Vice was similar to Bad Boys 2? You have it backwards - the characters in BB2 actually used the names from Miami Vice as their undercover identities. BB2 doesn't hide that it lifted thematic elements from Classic Vice. So does this movie. Again - a bit funny that some people who hated it say that it had nothing in common with the show, and other people who hated it say it had a lot in common with another movie that was heavily influenced by the show.

Either way - There was no chase in The Keys during this film.

I do like that Joblo had the same sense I did - that this film may hold more weight on personal & private viewings. All of Mann's films have been like that for me - the types you need to rewatch select scenes, go back and catch nuance, and sure - maybe even skip past a scene that isn't doing it for you.
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1:50PM on 08/25/2006

You've seen this movie before...

Talk about DeJa Vu. You've seen Miami Vice before, except the first time, it was called Bad Boys 2. Check this out:

The Plot:
MV: two undercover cops infiltrate a South American drug kingpin running smack thru into Miami
BB2: two undercover cops infiltrate a South American drug kingpin running smack thru into Miami

The Lackeys:
MV: drugs are run between ports by white supremacists
BB2: drugs are run between ports by the KKK

The Twist:
MV: Cuban puts the screws on our
Talk about DeJa Vu. You've seen Miami Vice before, except the first time, it was called Bad Boys 2. Check this out:

The Plot:
MV: two undercover cops infiltrate a South American drug kingpin running smack thru into Miami
BB2: two undercover cops infiltrate a South American drug kingpin running smack thru into Miami

The Lackeys:
MV: drugs are run between ports by white supremacists
BB2: drugs are run between ports by the KKK

The Twist:
MV: Cuban puts the screws on our heroes
BB2: Jamaicans put the screws on our heroes

The Hostage:
MV: Tubbs lover (a sista)
BB2: Will Smith’s lover (Martin Lawrence’s sister)

The Big Chase:
MV: some bridge in the FL keys
BB2: some bridge in the FL Keys

Hmm...

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10:14AM on 08/25/2006
Easily my favorite Michael Mann picture, everything he does in this works like a charm. What I love about this flick is how there is no opening credits of any kind, hell not even a title. The Universal logo disappears and then we are thrown into this life of crime, drugs, cops, love, and sex the minute the familiar Jay-Z/Linkin Park Numb/Encore song erupts throughtout the speakers... and not once does this life let us down. Mann's digital camera photography is like masterful clockwork here,
Easily my favorite Michael Mann picture, everything he does in this works like a charm. What I love about this flick is how there is no opening credits of any kind, hell not even a title. The Universal logo disappears and then we are thrown into this life of crime, drugs, cops, love, and sex the minute the familiar Jay-Z/Linkin Park Numb/Encore song erupts throughtout the speakers... and not once does this life let us down. Mann's digital camera photography is like masterful clockwork here, giving this film the dark and gritty look it so desperatly needed.

I could tell walking into the theatre most of the audience was there looking for this summer's Bad Boys crap fest shoot em' up. Too bad that's not what they recieved. Mann carefully has interwoven a hardcore undercover cop film with characters we generally like. I have never seen one episode of the "Miami Vice" TV show so I won't contrast and compare (not like you should anyway), but the characters of Tubbs (Foxx) and Crockett (Farrell) in this flick are no-nonsense bad mother jammers. They take no shit from nobody, and this movie doesn't either. Miami Vice is serious to the core making what we are seeing realistic as possible while in the boundries of a major motion picture. Our two main characters are supported by their own love interests that raises the stakes in the latter half of this film, this device works extremely well by playing with your emotions a bit. Capping off with what has to be one of the best (and real) shootouts I've ever witnessed [on a screen], your going to walk away either empty handed looking for a piece of 80's nostalgia or a bag full of goodies realizing you've just seen the best movie of the summer.
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12:38AM on 08/25/2006

Terrible waste of all

What's up with the digital? It looked shit! Why is everybody saying this movie looked cool. It looked like it was shot on a $30 budget. The only scenes that looked expensive were the helicopter crane shots of "go-fast" boats (that was their name, seriously. They're better than speed boats and quick boats put together) and CG planes. The arm getting blown off at the begining was cool but I would not count one of those shooting scenes as an action scene. They were sooo bland. And, while I'm on
What's up with the digital? It looked shit! Why is everybody saying this movie looked cool. It looked like it was shot on a $30 budget. The only scenes that looked expensive were the helicopter crane shots of "go-fast" boats (that was their name, seriously. They're better than speed boats and quick boats put together) and CG planes. The arm getting blown off at the begining was cool but I would not count one of those shooting scenes as an action scene. They were sooo bland. And, while I'm on it, if Mr Mann is going for gritty realism as it is painfully (on the eyes) obvious he is, why does he include the thousand and one slo-mo dive-and-shoot shots. The dialogue was hilariously camp (again, why are you trying to be gritty in other areas and let the cliche dialogue dribble on screen). For example: "You can't negotiate with gravity". HA! This actually reminds me of the time I had just fallen out of a plane and I was pleading, "Come on gravity, don't do this. I'll give you my watch!" But it didn't listen. Luckily I was able to broker a peace offering with Mortality but it meant my kidney. One last thing that had me and my mate peeing in aisles over - At one stage we cut to Farrell and Gong Li in a boat and she says in the Chinesiest accent I've ever heard used seriously "I know a guy who makes the best Mojitas". It sounded absolutely brilliant. "You wan moheto, soldier boy?". Not being rascist, but the comparison was unavoidable. My, we laughed. Seriously, apart from those two examples of so-bad-it's-funny, this movie blows harder then a Pakistani suicide bomber in an Israeli cinema! Da-dom, tish!!!
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