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Miami Vice (2006)
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Language, violence, nudity
Action, Crime, Drama
Jamie Foxx, Colin Farrell, Gong Li, Naomie Harris, Ciarán Hinds, Justin Theroux
Miami Vice (2006)
Available Subtitles: Spanish, French
AN UNRATED DIRECTORS CUT INCLUDES:
7 Additional minutes
The cocaine cowboys of the '80s are gone, but Miami's Casablanca allure, the undercover cops and the attitudes of Michael Mann's culturally influential television series have been enhanced by time in the feature film version of "Miami Vice".
Ricardo Tubbs (Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx of Ray, Jarhead) is urbane and dead smart. He lives with Bronx-born intel analyst Trudy, played by British actress Naomie Harris ("28 Days Later," upcoming "Pirates of the Caribbean" II and III), as they work undercover transporting drug loads into South Florida to identify a group responsible for three murders.
Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell of "S.W.A.T.," "The New World") [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. Isabella is played by the Chinese actress Gong Li ("Raise the Red Lantern," "Memoirs of a Geisha").
The best undercover identity is oneself with the volume turned up and restraint unplugged. The intensity of this 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.
"Miami Vice," as a large-scale feature film, liberates what is adult, dangerous and alluring about working deeply undercover…especially when Crockett and Tubbs go to where their badges don’t count…
Miami Vice (2006) | Review
Dark & Entertaining Vice
I remember the original television show. I wasn't particularly a fan but I watched it from time to time. I remember bright colored clothing, sunny beaches, hot cars, fast boats and attractive women. The movie retains the cars, boats and women but overall the look is much darker, more oppressive. It is filmed in a gritty, realistic way using HD cameras. Many scenes are shot from a perspective that puts the viewer in the middle of the action. I found it to be very effective at pulling me into the movie and keeping me enthralled.
Miami Vice starts in an interesting way. I don't know if it was intended or an error in the screening I attended but the movie begins with no opening credits, no title sequence, just "bang" right into the action. I'm curious enough that I'm going to have to see a regular theater showing to find out if it was deliberate. I can't say I've seen this technique before. I'm not sure I liked it as I kept waiting for the opening credits and they never arrived. The absence was a bit distracting but I soon got over it.
From nearly the very beginning things go wrong for our characters. Crocket and Tubbs receive a mysterious phone call from a former informant. An undercover deal has gone badly; a high-level, law enforcement insider has leaked information. Soon, the two partners are recruited to go undercover again. This time, to find out who is betraying their fellow officers. To do that they need to infiltrate the cartel run by enigmatic, drug lord Montoya (Luis Tosar).
To me, this is the heart of the movie, struggling to remember who you really are while you are immersing yourself in another role. For our undercover agents, it's not enough just to put on the clothes and talk the language. They must become the role, live the life and prove themselves before they can infiltrate the dark world they must travel to complete their assignment. The danger of course, is that they may reach the point where they are no longer undercover and become the thing they set out to fight against.
This is a cautionary tale we can all benefit from. If we're not careful we'll simply adopt the beliefs and behaviors of the people around us. It takes an effort to learn who you are and what you believe. And then continuous reminders to avoid following the currents of the culture in which we live. It's not until the very end of Miami Vice that it becomes clear which path Tubbs and Crocket will choose.
Miami Vice is an entertaining film with plenty of action. There are a few gratuitous scenes of a suggestive nature. And let's not forget the violence. Still, whether you are a fan of the original series or not I think you'll find it an interesting thrill ride.
Copyright © 2006 Hollywood Jesus. All rights reserved.
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