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.