Eye For Film >> Movies >> Miami Vice (2006) Film Review
Reviewed by: Leanne McGrath
Legendary Eighties TV 'tecs Detectives Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs are brought crashing into the Naughties in Michael Mann's visually stunning action thriller - with not a pastel suit or slip-on loafer in sight.
Nope, Mann avoids the comic (I use the term loosely) parody we saw in Starsky And Hutch or Dukes Of Hazzard and delivers the sexy, stylish, visually stunning movie we expected from the director of Heat and Collateral.
Not since Scarface has the underworld of Miami been so seedy and brutal. Mann's sun-soaked city is occupied by whores, pimps, Neo-Nazis, trailer trash and big-time dealers... and a few good cops aiming to clean it all up.
Vice cops Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) are dragged into the narcotics game after an FBI operation goes wrong and two undercover agents are killed. The pair are recruited to pose as drug transporters to find out the identity of the coke kingpin flooding the US with billions of dollars worth of drugs and the internal leak who exposes the undercover agents' real identities.
Mann's leads barely exchange any dialogue and work together in a silent harmony. There is none of the cop-buddy bonding prominent in Bad Boys - Crockett and Tubbs don't need to act like best pals to work well together. This does mean there is little character development - although we do discover they are both suckers for the love of a good woman - and we don't get to know our heroes, so we struggle to identify with them. But then, that's probably Mann's point - he keeps his undercover cops strictly anonymous to all, even his spectators.
Miami Vice is definitely style over substance. The plot is pretty weak and unoriginal, with dialogue that is cringe-worthy and often difficult to understand due to the thick American or Latino drawls. But the story isn't what makes Miami Vice - it is the action and visuals. Right from the off there is a stylish shoot out and our cops have a variety of slick speedboats, sports cars, planes and seriously scary guns to play with.
The real highlight is the stunning final gun battle, which rivals Heat's majestic shoot-out thanks to a succession of deadly blasts and smoother than silk slow motion shots. And what could have been a fairly run-of-the-mill hostage rescue scene is also impressive thanks to Mann building up some serious tension with a couple of nail-biting stand-offs, some brutal executions and a superb explosion just to polish things off.
Overall, worth seeing for the action rather the plot... and Colin Farrell's handlebar tache. Who needs a pink sportscoat?Reviewed on: 04 Aug 2006