As a child of the eighties, Miami Vice was one of my favorite shows. Cool people, hot guns, heart-pounding music…it was the definition of cool.
I was relieved and worried that Michael Mann, the original producer, was on board with the movie. Mann had an opportunity and a budget to make the movie all that he wished the show could have been- hotter people, hotter cars, better effects. This is a dangerous proposition, as those elements (while horrendously fun) do not by themselves make a good movie, as we have woefully seen from George Lucas. This film was not just a redux of the original. Mann created the new century vision of Vice with plenty of traction and feel from the original. The script actually gave the actors good material.
On the negative side, the casting for Crockett’s love interest was horrid. She was supposed to be from Cuba but was obviously Asian and had a purely Asian accent. There was no reason not to cast a Latina or at least any actor who could master the accent. Li’s thick Asian accent was so bad in some scenes that we rewound several times and still could not understand her. I didn’t buy her as the ultra-hot woman that everyone wants, either. While she was very attractive, her costuming included a dress that looked like eighties chintz curtains and her makeup made her lips look chapped and her eyes tired. Her scenes with Crockett were the only ones that looked somewhat forced.
Much as I dislike Colin Farrell, kudos for being able to act in a washed out pseudo-mullet. And Jamie Kennedy owned the Tubbs role in a way that was totally different from the original. Don’t miss the DVD special features where Farrell recaps his experience training with real vice cops on a drug sting. A fantastic story for fans and for haters like me.
This is an average intelligence, average sex appeal movie with a fun background, great soundtrack, and plenty of thrills for Vice fans of old.