Is Miami Vice (2006) a piece of crap

Original Poster
Joined: May 2012
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or am I missing something? I read about quite a few rewrites, I'm pretty big Michael Mann fan, and the movie has a weird feel to it. Looks beautiful though.
Jul 16, 2017 8:48 PM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
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It's not a piece of crap. It's a mess but it's an ambitious experiment with masterful craft on display. Mann dove headlong into digital filmmaking and instead of trying to make digital look like film, he used it's distinct aesthetic to capture the urban nightscapes and took what he did in Collateral to the breaking point. Using this aesthetic and almost a mumblecore style of acting (Foxx and Farrel are great), he tried to adapt a script that likely would have fit in as an adaptation of the show it gets it's namesake. What comes out is a film that's both cinematically ridiculous but shot in such a self serious manner that it almost crumbles under its own weight. Does it work? I'm not convinced either way but I don't think such an experiment could be made by anyone other than a master craftsman and that alone saves it from the ignominy of "piece of crap."

Plus, it's got Mann shootouts.
Jul 16, 2017 9:00 PM
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It has its moments. Definitely Mann's worst from what I've seen though, and it's not a hard call. But I haven't seen Black Hat yet. I mean, it's a snowball's chance in hell we would ever find something to unanimously judge, but I have a feeling almost all of us could agree this one belongs at the bottom of Mann's filmography.

And with that said, it shows how solid Mann is overall, because it's not a horrible or even bad movie. Just kinda bland and a little unfocused. He still has a transcendent style that gives the proceedings a sense of hyper-realism, at once gritty and dreamlike.

Aren't he and Lynch champions of digital video? I think Mann was one of the first big names to push higher framerate for one of his features. I thought it was Miami Vice but it might have been Public Enemies, a slightly better movie.
Jul 16, 2017 9:15 PM
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I was entertained sort of like I was entertained watching showgirls. The only thing that stuck with me is this scene there a drug kingpin lives in this beautiful area of a thousand waterfalls. Every so often I wonder it its based on a real place.
Jul 16, 2017 9:25 PM
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Moderator
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Quite the opposite.
Jul 16, 2017 9:25 PM
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It fell pretty flat for me when I saw it in the theater. It looked great, but in a weird way that only seemed to highlight just how not compelling I found the plot. In general Mann's movies don't jibe with me as much as some other viewers, but Miami Vice is my least favorite of his. And unlike some other movies, when I read praise of Miami Vice I can see what the person is talking about, but it doesn't give me a greater appreciation for the film itself.
Jul 16, 2017 11:01 PM
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No, yet it does play against type from the flashier tv series. I wonder if more layered pop music might've helped that.

B+
Jul 16, 2017 11:02 PM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
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I'm going to assume those placing this as Mann's worst haven't seen the Keep or LA Takedown (if TV movies count).
Jul 16, 2017 11:45 PM
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I agree. Hated it.

I grew up on the original. I tend to wonder if the movie version's fans would feel the same way if they had as well.

Jul 16, 2017 11:46 PM
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Jul 17, 2017 12:10 AM
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MKSIt's not a piece of crap. It's a mess but it's an ambitious experiment with masterful craft on display. Mann dove headlong into digital filmmaking and instead of trying to make digital look like film, he used it's distinct aesthetic to capture the urban nightscapes and took what he did in Collateral to the breaking point. Using this aesthetic and almost a mumblecore style of acting (Foxx and Farrel are great), he tried to adapt a script that likely would have fit in as an adaptation of the show it gets it's namesake. What comes out is a film that's both cinematically ridiculous but shot in such a self serious manner that it almost crumbles under its own weight. Does it work? I'm not convinced either way but I don't think such an experiment could be made by anyone other than a master craftsman and that alone saves it from the ignominy of "piece of crap."

Plus, it's got Mann shootouts.

I think a better script might have helped, but I also think out of the principals, only Foxx really adapts to the mood-heavy mumbly style Mann is going for. Farrell and Gong Li both seem uncomfortable with silences and some of the dialogue they have to wrestle with. I like the movie quite a bit more than you do (I'm pretty willing to overlook narrative weaknesses in light of technical merits), but some better casting and rewrites would definitely have helped the film.
Jul 17, 2017 12:13 AM
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MKSI'm going to assume those placing this as Mann's worst haven't seen the Keep or LA Takedown (if TV movies count).


I have seen The Keep and liked it more than Miami Vice, because it at least has an endearingly strange and compelling mystery at the heart of it to match the foreboding atmosphere.
Jul 17, 2017 12:42 AM
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The Keep isn't great but it sure looks good.





Jul 17, 2017 1:07 AM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
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The Keep does look good (and sounds good with that Tangerine Dream score) in a different way than Miami Vice. It's also been butchered into a nonsensical, tedious mess. It also doesn't have good shootouts.
Jul 17, 2017 1:10 AM
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MKSI'm going to assume those placing this as Mann's worst haven't seen the Keep or LA Takedown (if TV movies count).

No to LA Takedown, but I did see The Keep. Topic
Jul 17, 2017 2:22 AM
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Miami Vice was unbearable garbage. Public Enemies is an underrated masterwork though. I'm in the minority with that one but Miami Vice? It's like 10 day old shit stains on brown underwear.
Jul 17, 2017 2:26 AM
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I didnt mind the slow burn of the movie but the sub plot with the Asian chick nearly kills the whole thing.
Jul 17, 2017 3:07 PM
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88 Miles Per HourI didnt mind the slow burn of the movie but the sub plot with the Asian chick nearly kills the whole thing.

You mean Gong Li?
Jul 17, 2017 4:17 PM
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Izzy Black
88 Miles Per HourI didnt mind the slow burn of the movie but the sub plot with the Asian chick nearly kills the whole thing.

You mean Gong Li?

Yes. she was miscast.
Jul 17, 2017 4:35 PM
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Yeah it's bad, and I'm a pretty big fan of the original TV Show.
Jul 17, 2017 5:19 PM
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