Directed by: Michael Mann
Premise: Miami police detectives Crockett and Tubbs (Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx) go undercover and immerse themselves in the drug world.
What Works: Miami Vice is exactly what a good adaptation of a television series should be. Rather than simply make a two-hour episode of the show, the film translates all the elements to the cinematic setting and updates the story to play for a contemporary audience. The film is gorgeous to look at; few films have balanced gritty realism with elegant cinematography the way Miami Vice has done it. The gunplay in the film is a far cry from the loud, overdone action sequences in other films. Instead, Miami Vice goes the other way, making scenes that are more chaotic, more visceral, more realistic, and ultimately more dramatic.
What Doesn’t: Miami Vice will be confusing to some viewers. The film uses a lot of police jargon and moves so fast that some viewers may not keep up with the plot or the character relationships. The threat posed by the villains and the relationships between the drug dealers and the white supremacists are a little muddled and the lack of coherence makes them a little less threatening than they could have been.
Bottom Line: Miami Vice is one of the best films of this summer and of this year. Michael Mann is one of the great directors working in Hollywood right now and this is the kind of film he does the best. While it is not as accomplished as Heat or Collateral, Miami Vice is quite an accomplishment.
Episode: #105 (August 6, 2006)