Miami Vice

Aside from the names Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs and the setting of Miami, the movie Miami Vice has little to do with the television show Miami Vice.  The movie is merely a generic Michael Mann film (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) that happens to take place in Miami.  Well, on that point, it doesn't really.  It takes place on the Atlantic, in Haiti, Columbia, even Cuba.  Miami seems like an afterthought.  So there are two ways to look at the film.  The first, is a translation of the television series to the screen.  In this respect, Miami Vice fails.  It does retain a feeling of "coolness," but fans of the show will not recognize much.  On its own, it works as a moody movie about undercover cops and drugs, but runs a bit too slowly and seems a little too concerned with how pretty it looks.

Mann (Collateral, Ali) also seems to have some sort of fetish with rumbling clouds pierced by lightning every so often.  These ominous signs constantly flash across the background.  The film begins with an operation gone bad.  Various government agencies recruit Miami officers Crockett (Colin Farrell, Ask the Dust, The New World) and Tubbs (Jamie Foxx, Jarhead, Stealth) to go deep undercover.  Jose Yero (Take the Lead, Narc) is the man whose operation they're after, and he doesn't know that they are cops.

Foxx and Farrell look pretty slick, and tend to speak quickly to each other and mumble their lines.  It's all an attempt to make them look cool (at least they aren't wearing pastels).  They zip across the water in really fast boats, then go to really hip clubs where they dance with Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean:  Dead Man's Chest, Tristram Shandy:  A Cock and Bull Story) and Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha, Eros).  It looks very good, but feels superficial.  While there is a lot of plot going on, it also feels like nothing is going on.  Mann never gives the audience a good sense of the characters.  They are cool.  They are tough.  That's about it.

Crockett and Tubbs infiltrate the cartel by pretending to be transport specialists.  They will transport merchandise without asking any questions, and they guarantee delivery.  As soon as they get in, they discover that things are deeper than they thought, so they get in further.  And further.  There's lots of arguing.  And lots of guns.  And it's dark.  And fast boats.  It's slick in a very Michael Mann way, but tends to drag in some of the middle parts.

Haro Rates It: Okay.
2 hours, 15 minutes, Rated R for strong violence, language, and some sexual content.

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