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Actors acting badly in boats.
Review written by: Alex Sandell
Miami Vice is one of the worst movies ever made.
It's appropriate the film's plot centers around people dumping a load. Picking up somebody's else's load. Waiting for load # 2. If you want a plot, that's pretty much it -- everyone is either holding onto a load, moving a load, or talking about taking a load. One person is held hostage so other people can get their hands on a load dropped by Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx. Jamie and Colin also drop a load on the audience, considering that both actors' performances in Miami Vice are steaming loads of shit.
These guys can act, but not in this film. Whenever Farrell raises his voice above a mumble, his accent pops out. Foxx seems sedated throughout the movie. The two have absolutely no chemistry and their characters are never developed. The only personality given them in the movie is their facial hair. I guess Farrell's handlebar mustache is supposed to make him look like that guy in My Name is Earl and Foxx's goatee is supposed to make him look like he's trying out for Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Or maybe both actors were too humiliated to be seen in this movie without something covering their faces.
Foxx's character has a girlfriend when the movie begins. You know this because he has sex with her in the shower while bad pop-music plays in the background. Farrell's character begins the most artificial romance ever crammed into a movie with one of the film's villains (Gong Li). You know this because he has sex with her in the shower while bad pop-music plays in the background. Gong Li's character is dating some bad guy at the same time that she falls for Farrell. You know this because they have sex while bad pop-music plays in the background.
If there were no sex scenes in Miami Vice, the audience wouldn't know anything about these characters. Instead of including actual character development, Screenwriter/Director Michael Mann just has people fuck briefly to bad music. When one of the characters ends up in the hospital, you only know another character is sad because you saw the two having sex in slow-motion an hour earlier.
Then there's the dialogue -- dialogue that would make George Lucas blush. Farrell's speech about gravity is a real standout. He says something about how you can't fight gravity so you shouldn't fight possibilities. Whatever it was, it was the worst line of dialogue since Anakin Skywalker whined to Padmé Amidala over his hatred for sand in Attack of the Clones.
There's hardly any intentional comedy in the film, because there isn't any chemistry. Foxx and Farrell seem like they're acting in different movies. And in each respective movie, they're phoning it in. It's no wonder Mann kept them apart for most of the film. What could make for a better buddy picture, than keeping the buddies separated 90% of the time?
The TV show had quite a bit of action. And the lead actors definitely had chemistry. Action and chemistry are both missing from the movie. Instead, Mann kills time with people talking in nightclubs under neon lights. Or dancing in nightclubs under neon lights. Or even just sitting in nightclubs talking about how they should dance under neon lights. Michael Mann must have mistaken neon lights, awkward sex scenes and bad pop songs for a good movie.
Mann also wastes about five minutes showing a boat driving from Florida to Cuba. The scene is so slow, it may as well have been shot in real time. Never forget that crappy electric guitar music that Mann always tries to pass off as a soundtrack.
I'm really struggling to come up with anything good about the movie. There is one passably entertaining scene in a trailer park. It's not anything better than you'd see on any given episode of CSI (and worse than just about anything you'd see on 24), but it's something loud and flashy enough to wake the audience from their boredom-induced stupor. And even that scene wouldn't be considered "good." It's just "better." Better than all the other crap in the movie that came before it.
The only thing good about Miami Vice is that it should finally expose Michael Mann as Hollywood's emperor without any clothing. Michael Mann has always been an overrated director, but with Miami Vice he's joined the ranks of Uwe Boll (Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne), Michael Bay (Bad Boys II, Armageddon) and Ed Wood (Plan 9 from Outer Space, Glen or Glenda) as creator of one of the world's worst films.
Actually, not even Michael Bay has made a movie as tedious as Miami Vice. At least his movies keep you awake -- no matter how stupid they are. Ed Wood had the cheese factor going for him, making his films sort of campy fun. Uwe Boll's movies are no fun at all and are pretty hard to sit through, but he isn't working with a Mann-sized budget (Vice reportedly cost over $100 million to make). Did Michael Mann just demote himself to worst director of all time?
The audience -- many diehard Mann fans -- left the theater disappointed. I think it was the first advanced screening I attended with no cheering at the end. Not a single clap. Even My Super Ex-Girlfriend got a few audience members applauding. On the way out of Miami Vice, people were apologizing to their friends for inviting them along. And these people got in for free!
There are two types of movies that made me become a film critic -- one is the type of film that is so great, you want to tell everyone you can to go check it out. The other is the type that is so awful, that if you convince even one person to stay away, you've made the world a better place. Miami Vice is the latter.
Agree? Disagree? Considering Hare Krishna? Email Alex!
RECENT REVIEWS (click here to see ALL films reviewed in the last 12 months):
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My Super Ex-Girlfriend
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