Saturday, February 2, 2013

Miami Vice (2006)

Brother Jordan got me thinking about the Miami Vice movie that came out in 2006. As a fan of the original TV series, I thought the movie would be a let down so I never watched it. This weekend I rectified that oversight.
This film is hyperkenetic with a heartbeat all it's own. It's loud, it's crowded and full of dangerous people with 1000 yard stares. Everyone looks like they could kill but that is the way things are in the jungle.

Right from the beginning we are thrust into a dangerous mission that can fall apart at any moment leading to a full on blood bath. Everyone is packing, everyone has nothing to loose. With payout this high the risk of one's life is truly secondary to these players.

Everything here pops and crackles with dangerous energy. I loved how slick it was and how totally it drew me into it's scummy world of drugs and death that is creates.

The music has it's own kind of mood and it's omnipresent. Even the part where Colin Farrel dances with Gong Li shines wtih life. Alot is said with just a glance on the dance floor.

This movie is a college masters class on all the different ways that you can structure a scene. How many different ways you can combine film camera angles with lighting and movement in a hundred different edits. I was never bored because I saw the story from ALL ANGLES and the cameral lingered long enough to let me get a sense of place and time. Never did this movie make me feel like it was wasting my time and that is always and A+.

A lean script supports everything that is going on here and this one is all about mood and reacting to a constantly shifting landscape. I like how Crockett and Tubbs are let loose to do what they do best - mix things up enough for someone bad to make a mistake. It's fishing up the food chain.

The script can be goofy at times but everyone plays along and leaves me wanting to see who is left standing at the end, which, if you think about it, is the only way a violent tale of cops and robbers can end.

Everything floats here as the camera never stops moving around the story. Everything has the clockwork feel of inevitability. There are several different stories going on here so you have to pay attention but everything plays out like it was meant too - EVERYTHING. That is both happy and sad.

From the trendy clubs of Miami to the slums of Haiti's capital Port Au Prince the beauty and ugliness of that part of the world is a character on it's own.

The love story between Farrell and Li is also interesting to watch. She is icy regal and you can see how much it's killing Sonny to betray her. His is always trying to figure out a way to both save her and bring down her criminal organization. She can never know if she can trust him and that gives her character more depth than most female antagonists ever get in these kinds of films. Yeh, it's also a love story which was another part I really enjoyed because it's a love story that delivers big time. Love is all about sacrifices, bitches, and if you don't get the chance to risk that, then you have never ever really been in love. Smooth cool.

I wondered if they would have the hubris to use the famous Phil Collins song, In The Air Tonight and I was impressed with how they did incorporate the iconic song into the story because, as we all know, there is no Miami Vice without In The Air Tonight.
Never have  wanted both sides to win as much as I did in this one. I love the song over the closing credit and would love to know who does it.
I liked this one very much. It's smart and sharp and I like to have my head and yes, my heart, challenged a bit every now and then. Under-appreciated in it's time I was glad I took upon the recommendation to watch this one. It's very slick and cool and that is hard to do with actors who are so famous that they can no longer get lost in character. Luckily. This one ripened just nicely for me to enjoy. Thanks Jordan.

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