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Awake In The Dark
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Old December 6th, 2006, 12:26 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,022
Miami Vice - Review

Just watched the recently released DVD of VICE last night, and I'd have to say it was one of the stranger movie watching experiences I've had in a while. Sort of deja vu meets a dream. The plot is fairly simple - two undercover cops go deep undercover to bust a drug operation that killed the previous undercover cops.

The cops are played by Colin Farrell and Jammie Foxx. And this is perhaps the strangest parts of the film - while you do believe they are Crocket and Tubbs, you also can never stop thinking that they are not Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. Or that their boss is not Edward James Olmos (in his first great TV role).

Farrell and Foxx do have a certain chemistry, and although they try hard, they really don't match up to the original pilot or show. Johnson and Thomas WERE the characters and the film, to me, would've been a whole star better, if not more, if they were in the film.

As it is, everyone tries hard, but it does come off as a lost episode of the series - fine if were a TV pilot, not so fine if you just paid 11 bucks. I don't hate Colin Farrell, but he was just a bit too young to be playing the role as written. Which is one of the many problems the film has. It's not that he couldn't have pulled it off if the right "plays" were called for him, but they just weren't. Foxx comes off as little more than a big brother side kick in this, rather than a best friend.

This too was disturbing - they're already friends/partners when the film starts. In the pilot/1st season of the show, there was a great deal of mistrust there as Tubbs was a renegade NY cop avenging his brother's death. That's all gone now, and so is any tension or drama that could've been generated from this plot. Gone too is Sonny's ex-wife or any hint that he may actually be a real person with real problems, instead of a robo-vice cop. That most of the plot revolves around busting drug dealers comes off as so... 80's. While CASINO ROYALE managed a great re-boot sans the cold war, VICE did not. Tough to think of drug dealers as being evil just 'cause they're dealing drugs in the post 9/11 era.

Also missing is any real sense of style or grace. The music is dull and doesn't really interact with the scenes - it's just sort of there. The Phil Collins song used so effectively in the pilot (so much so it did mark the rest of the show) shows up in the end credits in a gutless remake - why even have it at all? Mann's original pitch for the show was "MTV Cops." That means style, music, etc. It's all but missing here. HEAT did it much better. The only thing really original about film is it's cinematography, which is sometimes great, sometimes awful, but usually groundbreaking because it was shot on all video - really good video. Groundbreaking because it looks almost as good as film in parts, better in others, and totally horrible in still more. Best looking are the background shots of the Miami skyline and any sky shot generally. The sky has a ghostly red glow in many shots that is fun...

But that's about all the fun there is. I wanted to love this film. I came away liking it okay...But wished it had that certain... something - but the 80's are dead and so is MIAMI VICE. As a side note, this makes me very affraid of the STAR TREK reboot planned with new actors playing Kirk and Spock...

2 out of 5 Stars

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