Miami Vice

Miami Vice


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.

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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
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Miami Vice packshot
Cop duo Crockett and Tubbs ditch their 80s pastel suits to crack - pardon the pun - down on a gang of ruthless drug dealers in style.
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Read more Miami Vice reviews:

John Gallagher *****
Stephen Carty ***1/2

Director: Michael Mann

Writer: Michael Mann, based on the TV series by Anthony Yerkovich

Starring: Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Gong Li, Luis Tosar, Naomie Harris, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Justin Theroux, Ciarán Hinds, Barry Shabaka Henley, Domenick Lombardozzi, Isaach De Bankolé, Eddie Marsan

Year: 2006

Runtime: 134 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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