The Heat is on (Miami Vice)
While on an undercover operation, Miami Dade detectives Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Rico Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) learn that there is a security breach in the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force. In order to identify the mole and apprehend the mysterious drug kingpin Archángel de Jesús Montoya (Luis Tosar), Sonny and Rico will pose as offshore dope smugglers and try to gain the trust of everyone involved in this ring of high-caliber drug traffickers. But things start to get messy when Sonny falls for Montoya’s girl and banker (Gong Li) and one of Montoya’s pawns (John Ortiz) begins to question the integrity of the new guys and takes Rico’s girlfriend hostage.
Even though it is based on the ever-so-popular 1980’s TV show, the movie version of Miami Vice has (thank God) not very much in common with its predecessor. The pastel shirts and flip-flops are gone and have been exchanged for designer suits and suave footwear. And not only has the look of the protagonists been cranked up a notch or two but rather the look of the whole movie. The entire movie has been shot digitally which allows for breathtaking visuals and the city of Miami has never looked this good after dark. Accompanying Mann’s visual style is his ability to tell crime stories in a highly realistic fashion. We get to know the characters through their acting and through what they say throughout the movie rather than through an awkward 5 minute exposition scene right at the beginning. Gun shots sound like gun shots and the R-rated language and violence make this a gritty and utterly compelling ride. If, however, you will watch Miami Vice as a summer action movie you will probably be disappointed. For the exception of two incredibly executed shootouts (nearly rivaling Heat’s bank heist shootout), Miami Vice is more thriller than it is action movie. On top of that, its pace and its looks are more arthouse than mainstream. That being said, Miami Vice is probably the most grown-up summer flick there is this year. (3.5 out of 4 Bacardi Mojitos)