08 August 2006

Miami Vice

Miami Vice, not Miami Nice

“Hey, Crockett! Where’s Tubbs?” A great line delivered by James Gandolfini in the 5th season of The Sopranos. It is very applicable to the new movie as well. I thought that Michael Mann’s take on his precious 80’s hit show, Miami Vice, did not have enough Tubbs. The scenes that they shared on screen were great. I thought that they had good chemistry. I was hoping that Mann’s new film would be better than his last. Collateral was a dark, gritty, hardcore movie that was made even better with the great acting thanks to Mann veteran Foxx and Tom Cruise. Foxx having worked with Mann on two previous engagements, Ali and Collateral, gave me even more hope of this film being awesome. I am a huge fan of the show. I am a huge fan of Heat, also by Mann. I like Farrell a lot as well. After seeing his performance in his last TV–show based movie, S.W.A.T., I thought he would make a good vice cop.

I read on www.IMDB.com stated that Edward James Olmos turned down the role of Lt. Martin Castillo. Why? What does he have going on? The next season of Battlestar Gallactica? The site also listed that the composer of the show, Jan Hammer, turned down doing the score. Again, I ask, why? I went with my Miami Vice t-shirt on, and bought my ticket with pride. I still went into it with high hopes. Well, I got a 7.5 maybe an 8. I also got an old couple that talked through the whole movie and did not follow it. They didn’t understand that this was not Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas.

In an issue of Entertainment Weekly, they had an article that discussed all the problems with the filming that went on during the shoot. They also dispelled a lot rumors. What I found interesting was that it said that Mann removed the original opening of the film. It was supposed to be a boat race in the daylight. He took it out to keep the movie in darkness, for the most part. Another interesting thing the article mentioned was that Mann was torn about using the Nonpoint recent cover of Phil Collins hit song “In the Air Tonight” before the final showdown. Collins’s song played before the finale of the pilot episode. Well, he decided not to go with it. With Olmos, Hammer, and “In the Air Tonight,” Mann succeeded in making this completely different than the TV-show.

Yet, there was a lot that was the same. The duo was chasing a drug dealer. They used lots of boats. There was lots of gunfights, womanizing, and explosions. Crockett still had his Ferrari, but no boat or Elvis. Zito, Switek, Trudy, and Gina were all there, but not necessarily mentioned by name. And the ultimate similarity: the bad guy does not get away. There was an impressive opening scene with car chases, gunfights and the like. Then the plot sets in. Then there is about 90 minutes of set-up until the finale. This middle ground was too long. Some scenes were not needed and moved the plot nowhere. This caused some people in the theater to start talking and get irritated. But then, when the final showdown goes down, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind, that we were watching Michael Mann on top of his game.

During the movie, I noticed that a majority of the scenes from the previews were not in the trailer. This only makes me want to get the extended DVD whenever it comes out. Mann also shot the whole movie in HD, so, it looks like I will be buying an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray DVD player, whichever format it goes with.

I think that I need to see this movie again, without the old people talking, to catch the whole dialog and entire movie. There is one scene where Tubbs sets up to find the leak in the agency. I don’t know where the leak was thanks to the old people. I would say, go see this movie. It needs to make $150 million or there will be no sequel. And lets face it, Miami Vice was a more beloved TV-show than Mission: Impossible. They have made three of those movies, so far. It was also more recent. What happened here? I liked the movie enough to want to see more. I still do not understand why they never made another S.W.A.T. movie. It made a fortune.

Verdict: I would like to see this become a franchise. Well worth my $10. But it does have a 146-minute running time. Look at it this way, more bang for your buck. It would be a better use of two and half hours of your time than Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

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