Monday July 31, 2006
Oh boy! I can’t even begin to explain to you how badly this movie sucked. Let me begin by saying, though, that making a bad movie is excusable. Making a bad movie with anti-piracy bullshit planted in it is just plain wrong. But on to Miami Vice:
The plot was sort of like the plot of a sub-par episode of the original TV show, ended three-quarters of the way through. I’m not sure the concept of a “spoiler” even applies here: knowing it’s close to ending might be a relief. Sonny and Ricardo set up a big fancy drug deal, Sonny falls in love with a girl on the drug dealer’s team, Sonny and Ricardo mess with the drug dealers a little, there’s a big gunfight (what was supposed to pass for the climax scene) during which Sonny’s main concern is to save the girl, and a little epilogue wherein the girl gets sent off (to Cuba, where an earlier scene had been shot, except of course not really). Just when I was getting ready for a third act to sweep in and save the day, the whole thing ends. And it ends ugly: a glimpse of a sad little version of a reworked Miami Vice logo, followed by the credits rolling over some crappy band’s cover of Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’ (which was sort of a suspense-building time-filler in the first episode of the TV show, and a radio hit, and not so great then, and no better as a shitty remake filing-out-the-theater music).
The connection to Miami? Nope, sorry. Bad Boys II showed off Miami better then Miami Vice. One scene was nicely done on a highway overpass, but for the most part it could have been set anywhere. Almost the entire movie is shot at night and on super-fast, super-grainy digital with crappy lighting. It literally looks like shit.
Speaking of which, the chauvinistic aspect: The movie starts out with two strong-seeming female supporting cast members. One of them shares a shower-and-sex scene with Jamie Foxx (which was really well done, by the way; probably the best thing in the whole movie), and then proceeds to spend the rest of the movie in a coma. The other, played by Gong Li, starts out as a high-up in the drug cartel, and promptly gets sucked into an absurd, almost James-Bondian “romance” with her “nemesis,” Colin Farrell. As I said, towards the end the plot sort of revolves around her, yet she’s used more as a prop then a character. Irritating.
The leads? Well, Foxx is awlright, but he’s just not on the screen enough. Farrell is just plain sad. Who cast this schmuck? What the heck does Manola see in him? He acts like a sad little emo boy, and the movie becomes more laughable and absurd in direct proportion to the percentage area of the screen his face takes up. A lot of “bad acting” accusations got thrown at Don Johnson during the TV series, but one look at this guy will solidify Johnson’s reputation as the king of cool.
OK, so you’ve heard about how the pastel colors of the TV show are out, right? So they’re replaced by a “look” that consists of video-effect faux-grit, supplied by the high-definition digital cameras the movie was shot with. These are becoming more and more common, and allow directors to manipulate the look of a movie without having to go through the intermediary steps of scanning film. Here it’s mostly used to make things look crappy. Only slightly more successfully, a couple of the scenes employ what I believe is a frame-rate trick, giving them a weird home-video look.
I got home and talked to a friend of mine who’d just gone to see a 3D version of
The Ant Bully, [actually, it was Monster House] and raved about how weird, beautiful, and great it was. And apparently you can see it in 3D even at regular theaters. Maybe your money is better spent there. Blah.
Update: Miamians agree that the movie doesn’t really have much to do with the city.comments powered by Disqus