Miami Vice

I never watched Miami Vice on TV. I never wore pastel jackets with tee shirts of complementary colors. And the only time I have stubble on my chin is in the morning before I shave, or if I’m up late at night. It doesn’t seem like you need to have seen the TV show to know what it was all about: the ultimate triumph of style over substance. And don’t forget attitude.

So why did I want to see this? Basically because Michael Mann directed it. Mann is one of the best directors working today. His films are visually stylish and thematically substantial. Of course in this case, the former takes center stage. If you’re expecting Sonny Crocket to get all Hamlet on you, then you deserve the disappointment that’s coming to you.

Miami Vice is about Ferraris that shoot blue flame out of the tailpipes. It’s about fast boats and planes. It’s about a high caliber weapon that blows a hole clear through the bad guy’s chest. Greasy villains with Neanderthal ideas about how to treat women get theirs as do white supremisists. I’m not even going to bother summerizing the plot. It doesn’t make sense and who cares anyway?

Similarly, what’s the point of talking about performances. There’s no depth here. Aside from the obligatory sex scenes we don’t see Crocket and Tubbs getting any down time. So there’s no characterization, no opportunity to sketch out any motivation. I could mention that Colin Ferrell’s brogue intrudes at times but heck, he could have done the whole thing in a full blown Irish accent and it wouldn’t have detracted one iota.

This weekend if you’re looking for something loud and stupid, Miami Vice is for you. And let’s hope Michael Mann gets back to stuff like Collateral now that this is out of his system.


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August 2006
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