Miami Vice

I recently watched the movie version of the 80’s hit Miami Vice with Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx.  As with most remakes, the makers of this film had several choices: 1) Try to redo the series as closely as they could set at the same time, 2) Do a comedy version that pokes fun at the series and the time that it was done, or 3) Do an original and updated version of the series.

I am a child of the 80’s and I loved them.  The music was great (all of you 70’s lovers who constantly bash the 80’s need to learn this truth), and the attitude of America was positive.  The style was, however, lacking (at least among the fashionable).  In truth Miami Vice and Michael Jackson pretty much sum up what was bad about the 80’s.  The dress and mannerisms of Jackson and the characters on Miami Vice (the TV series) show a natural downward progression this occurs when disco meets the “me” generation.  These characters were sappy, vain and oversexed (and they dressed horribly, and yes, I had one of those god-awful Don Johnson cotton jackets and a Chess King shirt that would have looked equally good on Michael Jackson or any character from Star Trek). 

A true attempt to seriously redo the series would have failed because people do not want to be reminded of the things mentioned above.  On the other hand, comedy theatrical versions of serious TV shows are often beatings (see the Wild, Wild West- I just threw up in my mouth.).  And, movies like The Wedding Singer have already done a good job of appropriately poking fun at the 80’s.

No, the producers and the director (Michael Mann) did the right thing by recreating the show for today.  It was much edgier, and serious.  It was episodic which is always good for these types of movies, and the acting was good.  For the most part, it moved well for a 2 hour+ movie, but tended to get a little slow at some points as they used several sex scenes to attempt to build the characters.  One each would have been enough.  The Crocket character and his relationships got a little hokey, but all-in-all these characters were believable.

I did not go into this movie with high expectations and was pleasantly surprised in the end.  It’s not for the kids, but I really show not have to even say that about a movie whose title implies sex, drugs and violence, and this movie delivers on all three.