This is probably the sexiest movie I’ve seen in a while. Jamie Foxx (Ray, Jarhead) and Colin Farrell (Phone Booth, Alexander) star as the infamous Crockett and Tubbs, two undercover vice detectives originally played by Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas in the 80’s tv series. Director Michael Mann (Collateral) was responsible for the series, so I guess it was only natural for him to direct the movie. The tv show became popular for its hot locale and even hotter storylines. I was a kid back then, but even I knew about Miami Vice.
Having said all that, I’m sure the move has a built-in fan base of late thirty and early forty-somethings who remember firsthand the decade of excess and indulgence that was the 1980’s. The big screen adaptation of the series is very dark, both literally and figuratively. Filmed in high-definition, the movie is gritty and realistic. As a viewer, you feel like you are watching video footage of events that actually happened. The city of Miami is a character in and of itself, and frankly it is breathtaking. Deep blue water, purple and pink skies, and lush palm trees serve as a backdrop, but not in a cheesy commercialized way. It looks authentic and will make you want to book a plane ticket tomorrow.
The movie throws us right in the mix: there are no opening credits, no corny theme music, nothing but Crockett and Tubbs immediately. These are two cops who immerse themselves in the underworld. There are no laughs and jokes, no witty banter a la Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Bad Boys. Shit’s real in the field of Miami and Crockett and Tubbs don’t crack a smile once. The storyline intially involves the pair going undercover (of course) to find out about a gang of white supremacists, but ends up touching on Miami’s drug world (of course again). From what I understand, drugs were a recurring theme of the original tv series. Foxx and Farrell are compelling and completely believable in their roles. They are cooler than a polar bear’s toenails. There’s one part where Crockett drives a speedboat to Havana for mojitos as if he’s hopping in the car to run to the grocery store for orange juice. Sick. My only complaint with the movie is that there was NO character development. It was just like BAM, here’s the movie. Here’s a day in the life of Crockett and Tubbs. It was like a two hour episode of the tv show with an ‘R’ rating. That may or may not be a problem for some people, but it’s just my opinion/observation. At two hours and twenty-five minutes, it’s also a wee bit long. Once again, I was accompanied by a date who dozed off and started to snore. Where do I find these guys? I digress. Bottom line: Miami Vice is a cool way to spend a hot summer night. Meow.