Review Written by: G. McAdam
What the MPAA Rating should be: R (for violence and profanity)
Directed by: Michael Mann
Written by: Michal Mann
Based on the television series by: Anthony Yerkovich
Produced by: Michael Mann and Pieter Jan Brugge
Starring: Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, John Hawkes, John Ortiz, Gong Li, Luis Tosar
Studio: Universal Pictures
Okay. Now I must admit I didn't have very high expectations going into this movie and I just figured it was going to be a good with all action, fairly entertaining, guy flick. And I figured, hell, it's Michael Mann, it's gotta be half decent. At least, that's what I got from watching the trailers. Truth be told now, it was none of those things. Here's why.
So let's start at the start. Opening of the movie. It was so abrupt and so unsubtle that everyone in the theater thought they were playing the movie from somewhere in the middle. It took a good 10 minutes, until they receive the first of 1000 phone calls, for us to realise that that was indeed the beginning. So right from the beginning, I must say I was confused. Then the pairing of Farrell and Foxx receive their first phone call in the middle of another job and completely stop what they are doing. Now again, I must say that they didn't make it clear that the bald fellow who goes up to the room with the two hookers was indeed part of the 'Vice'. I found that out approx. 40 minutes in, when he's shown on the boat with the other crew members. Once more, it wasn't making a very good case for being a good movie.
The rest of the movie's plot just carries on under this ridiculously confusing concept, combining two real bad guys, along with another set that isn't related to them in any way. The set up for the mission is rushed and not explained clearly. The audience is left to fend for themselves when it comes to figuring out who this Alfonso guy is and why he's racing back home. Aside from the plot though, the writing is stupid and so bad at times, that it's funny (For example for those who haven't seen it, "Is it December? Because I think Christmas has come early this year."...I mean, that sounds more like Batman and Robin
to me). Bottom line here is that the writing is a joke.
Now as for the acting, it was a tad better than the story line...but not by much. Colin Farrell was unfortunately the better of the two leads, because I was expecting more from Foxx. His Ricardo Tubbs seemed like he was always trying too hard to be bad ass and cop-like. It was as though he was struggling to find out why the hell he would get mixed up in this sort of thing. Farrell's Crockett wasn't much better, but he actually proved to be more cop-like and even seemed better at being street than Foxx did. He was a good playboy, it's just too bad he had to help cover his accent by lowering his voice to make it sound purposely gruff. It was even laughable at times.
The supporting cast was wasted. Justin Theroux and Elizabeth Rodriguez especially. When they were in fact on screen they were the most entertaining part of the movie. However, it's too bad their talents were overshadowed by the need to show two sex scenes in the shower, one for each Farrell and Foxx respectively. Another downer in the movie was the performance of Gong Li. At first, when you see her, you think "Alright, she'll be good. She's not overly clichéd as the 'smokin' hot' femme fatal, she seems better than that." Alas, that thought is shattered when she begins to have conversations with the other cast members and you can barely understand what she's saying. Her voice becomes annoying after we start seeing more of her. I started laughing even at parts.
John Ortiz is good as one of the villains, but that's all. Just good. Nothing too great, but not entirely disappointing either. So after sitting in this movie theater for about 1 hr and 50 minutes, watching this horribly dull, unthrilling piece of crap, there was finally some relief on the screen. Near the end there is about a 15 - 20 minute span that is finally entertaining with explosions and bullets and ultimate guy action. The thing that I was expecting the entire movie to have in it was just in a short 20 minute section near the end of the movie. And even this fraction of the film had it's bad qualities. I mean, at one point during the climax, the 'Vice' have snipers...and then they're gone! I mean, where'd they go!?
My final say on the movie is that if you liked the TV show, stay away. It's nothing like it. If you're expecting an explosion filled, action packed guy flick, rent it. It falls short anyway. If you're looking for a movie that has a confusing plot, subpar acting, ridiculous writing, but surprisingly okay cinematography and camera work (I mean, I may have bashed the whole movie, but it IS a Michael Mann flick so you can at least count on the camera work and scenery to be pretty damn good) then go see Miami Vice
Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell star in the updated Miami Vice.