Miami Vice: The movie

Twenty years ago, Michael Mann took us to Miami, with a show that pushed the limits of what a TV action series had done before in so many ways, with fast action and intense characters, combined with hit music and style.

Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs were not your traditional television by-the-book gumshoes. They lived on the edge, pushed the limits, and for five years in the 80s, they took us along for the ride.

Last night, I went to see the Miami Vice movie.

Last night, Michael Mann took me back to Miami, only deeper, faster, and harder than ever before. The movie took everything the television series had done, and put it into overdrive.

Clearly, the world has changed since the 80s. The Medillin cartel is history and syndicated crime is international, with players who had been unheard of back then, using high-tech in ways unimagined. Mann combined these new realities with the characters and concepts he introduced us to in the TV series flawlessly. If Miami Vice had been on the air now, this is exactly what it would have been.

But there is a big difference between imitation and inspiration, and Mann understood this. He reached back for what made the TV series groundbreaking and powerful, and used it as a starting point for the movie, without letting his vision be constrained by it. Nevertheless, there were still times I caught myself expecting Don Johnson or Philip Michael Thomas to come out of the shadows or alleyways.

In the Miami Vice movie, Mann takes us back to Miami, and closer to the edge than ever before. It was a ride worth taking, and one you shouldn't miss.

2 Response to "Miami Vice: The movie"

  1. Ace 30/7/06 15:08
    I'm a big Mann fan - none bigger perhaps; love his films, loved the TV show from the 80s. (See my Top 25 list on my blog - I think I have 3 or 4 of his films on it.)

    I looked forward eagerly to the new flik, got excited after watching the trailers, then went out to see it.

    Sorry - big disappointment. The coolness factor was still there. Despite much criticism from others, I think the music reflected where the TV series would have gone had it been done today. So I am in agreement with you on those two areas I think.

    But from a basic filmmaking effort, I think it disappointed on several counts. The plot was almost impossible to follow, some of the things Crockett and Tubbs did (and in the short time they did them) were totally implausible, and some of the dialog was unintentionally laughable, at least the dialog that could be understood. (There was so much mumbling I must wait for the DVD to come out so I can put closed captions on to see what I could not hear!) This was something that Mann had a slight problem with in Collateral, but it's prevalent throughout this film.

    Anyway, I still liked it, but, it was more that I wanted to like it. I was still disappointed though. It could have been (no, SHOULD have been) much, much better than it was.

    Ace
  2. Earl Capps 30/7/06 17:09
    Maybe I'll go back and see it alone next time, instead of with my daughter, and see how I feel about it.

    Thanks for your thoughts, and I'm glad you took the time to participate in my blog!

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