Weekly Feature

2006-08-16 / Entertainment


'Miami Vice' wastes a golden opportunity

"Miami Vice" is a remake of the widely popular 1980s television series, but the movie is so far from anything the series resembled, one wonders why they even used the name in the first place.

In fact, it seems the only real link between the two is the title and the names of the characters, Crockett and Tubbs, played by Collin Farrell and Jamie Fox.

So distanced is the film from the series, if it weren't called "Miami Vice" you probably wouldn't even know the story was set in Miami.

There's not even a requisite beach scene, ala "Baywatch," featuring a pan out of beautiful people in sunny situations.

It's dark and gritty, and the performances by Farrell and Fox are so wooden and completely devoid of any ounce of humor, it's as if the actors felt any show of emotion might sacrifice the overabundant testosterone that suffocates much of the film.

Farrell especially, whose mullet hairdo and handle-bar mustache couldn't be farther than the character Don Johnson portrayed on television.

The series portrayed the style and commercialism of the 1980s, and while I was never a fan of the show, it seems the producers of this film truly missed a chance to make a funny and more comedic movie that paid tribute to that era, much in the same realm of what "Starsky and Hutch" did for the '70s.

Regardless, the plot line revolves around Sonny and Rico infiltrating a drug trafficking ring, and working undercover to expose the criminal masterminds behind the international operation.

There's a lot of high drama and shoot-em-up sequences that go well with the darkness of the piece, but it never reaches the over-the-top sensationalism needed to make up for the poor performances and dragging plot line.

The movie never really hits its stride, even after a few surprises, and it's mostly because Farrell and Fox seem downright miserable throughout the movie. You'd think living in Miami, driving fast cars and boats, and making love to beautiful women would put a smile on their faces, but apparently not.

It's interesting that in an entertainment world that recycles so many stories from the past, one that actually tries to do something original fails to hit its mark, but that's probably a nod to a movie industry that identifies success with dollar amounts.

Either way, this "Miami Vice" comes up short in every aspect, and doesn't even qualify as a decent cop movie.

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