The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Miami Vice

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Judy Thorburn

Miami Vice

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"MIAMI VICE" LACKS STYLE AND SUBSTANCE

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

I have to admit I didn’t watch the popular 80’s crime drama TV series Miami Vice on a regular basis. But I did catch a couple of episodes, because like any other heterosexual female, occasionally I enjoyed feasting my eyes on that sexy hunk, Don Johnson and the other slick guy with three first names (Philip Michael Thomas) who played his partner/sidekick but then fell off the radar after the show went off the air. What made Miami Vice stand out from other series of that genre were key elements such as a hard driving rock music track and the stylish, hip clothing worn by the good looking lead characters. Now twenty years later you’d think those elements would be carried over into an updated movie version, especially with super hot Colin Ferrell and Oscar winner Jamie Foxx cast to fill the roles played by their TV counterparts. I had imagined the actors looking so yummy in the latest designer threads. You’d think the filmmakers would not want to mess with a successful formula. Well, you can forget about that. If anything, gorgeous Colin Ferrell looks disheveled most of the time, with greasy looking hair. That’s far removed from the Sonny Crockett audiences loved to watch. The only stuff that has stayed the same is the detectives’ names, their profession, and the Miami location. Fashionable threads don’t play into the scenario, nor is the music as strong here. Fans of the TV series who are looking for a resemblance to their favorite series are in for a major disappointment. It’s all about the job and the action that goes down in their latest undercover assignment, if you care to follow along.

You’d never know that Miami is one of the sexiest cities in the country with its art deco architecture, fabulous beaches and colorful neon lights, which were showcased and played key roles in the TV series. Respected director Michael Mann, known for making some of the slickest cop movies (1995’s, Heat for one) and integrating the bright night lights of any city he films, goes the opposite way of the TV series, showing Miami at its darkest and grittiest.

As the destination for international drug traffickers, Miami Vice cop Sonny Crocket (Farrell) and partner Ricardo Tubbs (Foxx) are given an assignment that will put them up close and personal with a drug king pin, a beautiful money launderer and white supremacists in hopes of busting their ring and taking them down. Complications arise when the cops’ professional lives intertwines with their personal lives with Sonny falling in love with tough but vulnerable Isabella (hard to understand Gong Li, Memoirs of a Geisha), the go between/girlfriend of the main man, Archangel Jesus Montoya (Luis Tosar) and Rico’s main squeeze/fellow cop Trudy (Naomi Harris, the best thing about the recent Pirates of the Caribbean sequel)) becoming targets. That’s the basic gist of the story, which follows Sonny and Rico to Haiti, South America, Havana and back to Miami. A couple of steamy sexual encounters (two in the shower) lots of talk, a few blood splattering shootouts ensue, but would you believe, not one car chase?

It’s all rather boring and grim, not at all what I remember from the visually appealing TV series that was packed with energy. Where’s the color? It might have well been shot in black and white since a great portion of the film tone is either in black, gray, or brown, lacking any vibrant colors. At nearly two and a half hours long I couldn’t wait for it to be over, I was so bored by the slow pacing, mumbled dialogue and more complicated than necessary narrative. I hate when I have to constantly turn to my husband, ask what was said, and he couldn’t decipher some of the dialogue either.

Cinematographer Don Beebee (who did such a great job on “Collateral”) employs a hand held camera for the feel of being part of the action, but at times I felt like I was watching an extended version of TV’s Cops, you know, with the jerky camera movements, angles, in your face close-ups and the like. I don’t know about you, whether filmed in HD or not, it didn’t work for me.

In fact very little works. There is no denying the usual charismatic presence of Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx. But, as partners they fail to generate any chemistry. Its not as if we see them together much as Farrell’s part dominates the story giving Foxx not much to do, but look serious most of the time he’s in view.

Initially, star power will attract an audience, but not for long. This is one time the “Mann” failed to deliver. Sorry to say this movie version of Miami Vice is so bad it’s a crime