on 11 February 2011
I feel I must speak up for MV. Okay, the plot is a bit OTT and FOXX and FARRELL are lignious but it has some great features. The music is fantastic. The cinematography is fabulous: the plane flying over the rain forest and the amazing seascape on route from Florida to Havana in a racing boat is breathtaking. Yes, some of the violence is gratuitous but as action movies go it's exciting and dynamic and it feels very expensive and high quality. Its definitely worth watching and you'll be humming the various melodies for years to come, 'One of these mornings, it won't be very long, you'll look out for me, and I'll be gone, I'll be gone....!' JP;)
on 9 March 2008
This is an outstanding movie, regardless of whether it's a remake, or resources original material, or is related to the 1980s tv show in any way. Michael Mann is an outstanding director fusing European art tradition with a blue collar contemporary command of thriller making. This is a very literate film and many of the reviews on Amazon are obviously by people unable to digest the attention to detail that went into this film.
The film is carefully textured, shot and constructed. The characters speak through performance and the subtleties of dialogue rather than simplistic action.
This is a film for anyone who wants to be enveloped in a three dimensional world of contemporary Miami told through the excitement and energy of crime and people who live outside normal rules (the feature that unites both the cops and the villains).
See it and be prepared to be carried beyond normal thriller story telling.
on 11 February 2011
Okay, so this film has nothing in common with the television series.
Yes, it should have been released with a different title.
When I first saw Miami Vice, I too was disappointed with its lack of connection to the original series, but upon repeated viewings - this film really rewards.
In order to watch the full version of the film, and enjoy Mann's commentary, I bought the region one version.
The director's cut is far superior and I really hope it gets released in the uk at some point.
As far as the film is concerned, its one flaw is that it is too realistic. Yes, the people in real life do talk with that kind of dialogue - but this is supposed to be a movie, and not a documentary. At times, Tubbs speaks in dialect that only a cop with twenty-five years on the job would understand. In this respect, Mann's excellent research has been taken a little too far. I hope, next time out, he gets the balance right between realism and entertainment.
on 24 June 2009
Great movie + a perfect soundtrack.
DTS-HD 5.1: English
DTS Surround 5.1: French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese
French, Italian, Geraman, Spanish, Janpanese, Korean, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Mandarin
I am not a big fan of TV.
So the TV series passed me by, although I believe it has quite a following, so I approached this movie on the strength of Mr. Mann's previous work - an impeccible portfolio.
Whatever, however, Iunderstand this work has nothing to do with the TV series, other than it's title, location, the names of the two lead characters and Michael Mann's history.
Now,I believe that this movie would have fared much, much better at the box office and with its critics if it had gone out under a different banner - title.
Released, unburdened from expectation, untainted by nostalgia, free of cult following of the small screen.
However, whatever, I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed this movie, it improves with each repeat viewing and I watch over and over.
For me there is nothing that galls.
The plot, sub-plots and chapters are seamless.
The editing, screenplay, dialogue and cinematography are flawless the acting superb.
Farrell and Foxx make their roles - a kind of professionally attached emotionally detatched partnership - and Gong Li and John Ortiz are simply outstanding.
A graphic movie, dark, brooding,- with suspense and violence underscoring every scene.
Hard-boiled, brutal and breath-taking.
You can feel the rank heat and humidity.
Now I am probably going aggravate some readers - curl their toes, having them scream 'NO!NO!NO!' but for me this movie is right up there with 'Heat' and 'Collateral'.
This is a film of true quality - one of the best.
This is big screen entertainment.
The soundtrack, too, is compiled with the same deft touch,consumate skill as the movie - and is dank and dirty.
I am on my fourth copy - I've given three different friends on seperate occassions one each - because on listening they've asked - demanded a copy.
It's addictive - with or without the movie.
Both soundtrack and movie are an absolute delight.
on 17 April 2014
Like many upon first viewing of this film, I left the theatre feeling a little disappointed and confused at what I just watched. I didn't really "get it"..
Being a huge fan of director Michael Mann's work and overall style, my expectations were pretty high, given this was his first major 'crime' movie since the epic "Heat" (with the exception of his previous film 'Collateral'). However I remembered how I felt when I first saw "Heat" for the first time, I felt it slow, overlong and pretty tedious.. today I find it an incredible piece of work, ahead of its time and is one of my all time favourite films. Given this, I stuck with "Miami Vice" and it paid off... Even when watching again on DVD, I remembered feeling a little empty, the same way when viewing for the first time at the cinema, however did find other parts of the film more enjoyable second time around.. Then the blu ray came out.... !
Wow, perhaps I am giving the blu ray edition more credit than it deserves, but upon the third viewing I thoroughly enjoyed this movie all the way through. The passage of time in not seen it for quite a while probably added to my enjoyment as I could watch this again with a fresher view. The picture quality is excellent, the sound, almost deafening and the tweaks and scene additions made by Mann, in my view, certainly add alot more clarity and flavour to the narrative and overall flow of the film. This is a relatively long movie (about 2h 15m) however 10mins into it, I was transported into Mann's gritty Miami world (a shade wearing Horatio Cain is nowhere to be seen btw) and stayed for its duration. Very, very entertaining..
Whether you are a fan of Michael Mann's work or looking for a good all round action/thriller, this is arresting stuff... sincerely glad I stuck with it ! Get the blu ray !!
Like he did with his own LA Takedown (which became Heat) director Michael Mann re-invents his hit TV show from the 80's with this big budget movie version.
Upon its release it disappointed most audiences, who were probably half expecting pastel coloured suits and a Jan Hammer soundtrack, but Mann brings the idea up to date with a very realistic portrayal of undercover police work.
As usual Mann's style is very slick and bristling with energy, a simple scene of dialogue for example has a lightning storm flashing in the distance! The music is superb once again and the story is just complex enough without falling over into the abyss of incomprehensibility! Ok so it's probably longer than it needs to be and the film just cries out for a really cool car chase, but there are some great moments with the Go-Fast speedboats and of course a typical Mann-style climactic shootout!
Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx play Crockett and Tubbs respectively but for me their characters are rather un-engaging and don't have any personality whatsoever, a far cry from Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas whose 'buddy' relationship was always an enjoyable aspect of the TV series. This is the biggest fundamental flaw with the film, even DeNiro's and Pacino's characters from Heat had more of a friendship than Crockett and Tubbs do in this movie and they were on opposite sides of the law! This Crockett and Tubbs hardly say a word to each other throughout the entire film! They're just too cold and lifeless to really care about.
Granted you would have to be a certain type of person to do the type of undercover work that Crockett and Tubbs do and maybe the characters are intentionally the way they are but if this is the case then Mann doesn't do a particularly good job at getting this explanation across in the film.
In the end imagining a slice of chocolate cake, that looks and smells fantastic, but upon eating has no taste at all, wouldn't be that far off the feeling of disappointment you feel when you watch Miami Vice! However it is still a brilliant film, even if it does occasionally misfire and if it's any consolation the version presented here on Blu-ray is far better than the Director's Cut which is the only version available in the States!
on 30 December 2007
When this movie was announced, I was pretty excited. Being a fan of the 80s TV series, I was eagerly looking forward to see how the film makers would contemporise my favourite cop show and knowing that Michael Mann was at the helm, it couldn't really go wrong. However, what I got was something very different to the bright TV show of my childhood...
Gone are the slick exterior and pastel clothing. Gone are the 'buddy' cop movie formula and gone are Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. Replacing the duo are Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell (playing Ricardo 'Rico' Tubbs and 'Sonny' Crockett respectively) who attack the material in a totally different manner. They hardly share any screen time together and unlike the original show, they communicate only via knowing looks and expressions - its all done by gesture. This is pretty smart in the sense that these two know each so well, that they can get the job done just by looking at each other, but as a cinematic way of telling the story, it falls flat. The characterisation is gone and everybody seems 'oh so serious' all the time, neglecting any real humanity and ultimately you cannot connect to the people onscreen. That's not to say the movie is a failure, its just that if you are looking for a 'lethal weapon' style actioner, then you are knocking on the wrong door.
Mann's 'Miami Vice' redux is a very cool and cold affair. With gritty digital camera work offering the darkest look at Miami's criminal underbelly, this summer flick is more mood and nuance than buildings being decimated. In the movie, Crockett and Tubbs are once again deep undercover infiltrating a South American drug cartel, but Crocket jepordises the entire operation by falling in love with the main villains' wife Isabella, played by Gong Li. From then on, its all meaningful looks and longing for love as the duo embark on bringing the cartel down. The script itself tries hard to be emotional and involving, but Mann's style is minimal and distancing which actually pulls you away from the drama. Its a very strange experience - as the film rolls, you expect the usual summer actioner with explosions and gunfights (you do get these, but not in the manner to which you expect), but Mann refuses to fall into those old cliches. It's as if he created the 80s, neon lit, orange skyline 'Jerry Bruckheimer look' with the original Miami Vice, but now disregards it and follows his own beat.
The score is excellent, and (as he did with 'Collateral') Mann shoots the movie in hig def giving it a gritty, urban and decayed feel. The cast are uniformly good, but the style of the piece takes some getting used to, as do their performances. Watching the film once doesn't give you a satisfactory viewing - you need to see it a few times to 'get' the movie.
Universals' DVD transfer is excellent and the movie and audio are great. The extras are a little short and an in-depth making of documentary would have really helped the package. All in all, not the experience I was expecting and a hard movie to like. However, once you get past your first viewing - there is plenty to enjoy. Even though they did the unforgivable and recast Edward James Olmos as Castillo, this is still a worthy movie to watch. Recommended, but rent first don't buy blind.
on 12 October 2007
I'm a huge fan of Michael Mann, Collateral and Heat are brilliant and this unfortunately doesn't live up to those two. Having said that it's a tense and scarily realistic film. I mean, theres no way cop life is like how it's portrayed in films like Bad Boys and the Rush Hour series.
Foxx and Farrell are solid as the focused partners, although it would have better to see more interaction between the two, they barely say two words to each other the whole film. The acting overall is very good, with Gong Li and Naomie Harris being the best, it is perhaps ironic that the female characters stand out, since Vice is very much considered a 'guy' movie.
Theres no doubt the main feature of Mann is his visual style. The night time atmosphere of Collateral is brilliant and it is the same here, providing plenty of great cityscapes and night shots. The soundtrack is also brilliant and bonds with the movie well, the highlight being the excellent "Auto Rock" by Mogwai thumping in the emotional finale.
I think the storyline is a weak point in Miami Vice and could have been stronger. I didn't have too much of an idea of what was going on half the time, but this again is part of the realistic cop scenario and avoids having an elaborate plot. I like the opening sequence when you're thrown straight into a heavy-hitting club scene, not sure whats happening and given no clues.
I admit Mann's thriller will not be for everyone and like most of his films it may take multiple viewings to take everything in. Also if you're looking for a movie with non-stop action definitely avoid this. However, Vice is worth the price and if you want a grown-up, intelligent, realistic thriller I would recommend it.
On paper this promises a lot - Mann has been on great form in recent years (Insider, Collateral etc) plus Farrell seems to be waiting for that one big successful role that will propel him into mega-stardom.
But it's a let down. Here are my main complaints (!)...
1. An opening sequence which doesn't really explain things too well and the beginnings of a story there which is simply abandoned after those first few minutes
2. Practically no rapport or sense of friendship between the two lead male roles
3. A ridiculous piece of unbelievable coincidence towards the end whereby (small spoiler alert) the police locate the kidnapped female officer - the guy might as well have looked into the camera, winked and said "Oh, I know where she'll be..."
4. The romance story ends up being the most meaningful thread of the tale - did they intend this? I don't think they did, nice though that element was.
5. Dialogue barely audible at some points, and other times characters using terminology which I guess is only understandable if you are a drug dealer or a policeman
6. Too much reliance on great visuals, not enough emphasis on good story.
This last point seems to be the key to me. Mann's films have become more (on the surface at least) visually complicated lately - this one doesn't even have any opening credits, it just chucks you in - but I think that only works with a very strong story and really big performances. Something like HEAT is almost endlessly watch-able mainly because the story is so compelling and the performances so strong, Collateral too - although that has a simpler plot.
As mentioned, the little romance story is a lovely little surprise at the heart of the film - I've never seen the actress before, but she was great, and so was Farrell, but the main story is just too loose, sprawly and to be honest, uninvolving. Like the man says: if it `ain't life and death, we don't care. Now, OK it IS life and death at some points in this film, but you see what I'm getting at - it needs to be a on a grander scale.
But Mann is determined to weave every film into a giant quilt of a drama with lots of night shots and moody dialogue and bit characters who come and go and sub-plots galore. Sometimes, like HEAT, you can't get enough and you want to wrap that quilt around you for the whole film. Here, like waking up fuzzy in the middle of the night, I was struggling to get out from under the thing.