Miami Vice

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: -1/2

Content: -4

Jamie Foxx, Colin Farrell, Gong Li, Naomie Harris, Ciarn Hinds. Crime action drama. Written & directed by Michael Mann.

Synopsis: Two cops go deep undercover to take down a big league drug trafficker.

I cant find one reason to see this film. Michael Mann, who produced the serio-comic television series, uses the title and the character names, but there is little else to resemble the TV show. He bumps up the dialogue, sensuality and violence to R-rated status. There doesnt seem to be a ceiling on rough content. Someday, movie people will just walk into our living room and beat us up, then wait for us to applaud. But I digress.

Gone are the MTV Cops as Crockett and Tubbs were referred to. They still watch each others backs, but now its a joyless relationship. The two leads place a stone-grimace on their mugs during the first scene and somehow manage never to remove it. Macho is one thing, but remember how Sean Connery as James Bond would often lighten the mood with a slightly raised eyebrow. If Colin Farrell did that, I fear his face would crack. While both leads have displayed theatrical ability in past productions, here they are nothing more than buffed up, grimacing stick figures, becoming less animated than the puppets from Thunderbirds.

The film is not just violent, but abusive. Several characters are dispatched with shots to the head, spraying blood and brains over conveniently placed backgrounds. Each time a shocking killing takes place, it causes a disturbing reaction from many audience members. Rather than a horrified gasp, the graphic displays brought out a significant bloodlust exhibited by laughter and applause. The film starts off in a hip night club, with what appears to be every model-like female on the East Coast decked out in clothes that say, I want sex and I want it tonight. Indeed, there are four sex scenes, two that become quite graphic, almost pornographic.

Also less than satisfying is the photographic choice, once again dominating the look of the film with its herky jerky hand held camera. This has become a staple for action pictures, but too often the camera trick is used to liven up a scene that neither the actors nor the script are able to punctuate with energy. Then there is the running time, nearly two and a half hours. While that length works for films such as Gone With the Wind and Lawrence of Arabia, pictures that demand time to further storylines and character development, Miami Vice is short on narrative and long on abuse. The directors sluggish pacing in scene after scene becomes deadening to the writers plot and our posteriors.

I give you the cars, the boats, the sunsets are cool. And evidently, the women of Miami Beach spend a great deal of time in the gym. But its long, violent to the point of desensitizing, the leads are profane in speech, and the miniscule storyline lacks any moral focus.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: The opening scene takes place in a club, where all the women are dressed provocatively and the overbearing hip hop song bears a great deal of hostile language, including the profane use of Gods name and the f-word.

Obscene Language: At least 15 uses of the f-word, 7 or so s-words and 4 or 5 other obscenities.

Profanity: 2 uses of Gods name followed by a curse.

Violence: the violence is explosive with several people being shot mechanically at close range, blood and brains splattering everywhere; two men and repeatedly shot by heavy artillery until body parts start ripping off; a woman is beaten and held captive; there are several explosions, a strangling and countless gun battles. Blood: Lots of splattering when people get shot.

Sex: 4 separate sex scenes, two becoming graphic.

Nudity: Two scenes feature nudity.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: They dont spend much time talking about sex, but the film has a lot of sensuality.

Drugs: Some drinking and the bad guys are making extravagant livings off the sale of cocaine and other drugs.

Other: None

Running Time: 135 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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