Eye For Film >> Movies >> Miami Vice: Season Two (1985) Film Review
Before watching this box set I knew literally nothing of Miami Vice save for the fact that a new movie of it is coming out. I didn't know the actors or character names or anything. Apparently the show was a big fashion and style icon in the 80s, I was just a kid at the time and I wasn't allowed to stay up late enough to watch it, so I never took much notice. But, if I had to sum-up the style of the show in a media-friendly soundbite it looks and feels a LOT like Tony Scott's Beverly Hills Cop II.
Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs (that's Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas) are undercover cops in Miami's vice squad. Their job is to get close to drug dealers, root them out and take them down. The routine takes them through all of the glamorous locations Miami has to offer. So expect gun battles and car chases around all of the famous landmarks.
Crockett is a Vietnam Vet and a ladies man. He lives on a boat, has one-night stands, a pet alligator (better than dogs) and drives around in a Ferarri. His partner, Tubbs, is a New York cop who originally came to Miami to find his brother's killer or something. One would expect an odd-couple partnering like in Lethal Weapon, Dragnet or 50 zillion other movies, but they get on just fine.
The one thing that makes the show stand out from most is the fact that it has guest stars you have actually heard of (including Bruce McGill in a great role). Though when it first came out 20 years ago it was sold on how action-packed and hard-edged it was. Compared to shows like CSI or 24, it may not seem so tough these days. I was expecting cops such as those in Bad Boys II (one of the worst films ever made), who shoot everybody right away and ask questions never. Crockett and Tubbs ain't exactly like that and seem to care about the civillians, which is something unsual for cop shows/movies, which were particularly fascist in the 80s.
Something that I can't turn a blind eye to (or should that be deaf ear) is the perpetual horrid Eighties tunes. Oh God, it's pure torture on my delicate ears. 80s music is probably the worst in planet Earth's history. And there is at least one superfluous music montage in each episode for our displeasure. Major points off for that, I'm afraid.
The new Miami Vice movie by Michael Mann (he produced the show and wrote a few episodes) is due out this summer and it seems so much more hardcore than the series, to the point that it actually seems like Bad Boys II, done right. Forgive the constant comparisons but if you have been unfortunate enough to have seen BBII and are a fan of this show you will see striking similarities to the Miami Vice movie.
If you're a nostalgic fan, then go for it. But for a stranger to the show this might seem like too much of an 80s time capsule.Reviewed on: 18 Jul 2006
If you like this, try:Miami Vice: Season One