Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year, New Goal

So my backitude was fairly short lived, what with all the Alabama business over at Roll Bama Roll taking up most of my time. Anyway, I've set myself another movie related goal for this year, though it's not quite as strenous as the last one. I want to watch at least three new (to me) movies each week, so that should be imminently doable since I tend to watch more than three movies every week anyway and I won't be forced to watch crap I wouldn't normally watch just to fill a quota. So to start off the new year, I chose a movie from last year that I was very excited about but somehow managed to never get around to seeing.


Ever since Heat I've made it my business to watch anything Michael Mann does, and with the sole exception of The Last of the Mohicans I haven't been disappointed yet. Miami Vice is no exception, though at times it felt like Mann was too in love with the style of the movie than the substance. Digital video is a blessing and a curse for the man, blessing in that it keeps his creative juices flowing and finding new and better ways to shoot movies, and a curse because the style became the focus at times.
At the start of the film, we find Crockett and Tubbs on a stakeout before they are rudely interupted by a phone call from a former informant telling them his cover was blown. They find that he was part of a sting operation involving white supremacists with a drug connection. From there the film turns into a perfectly paced police procedural as the two go undercover as smugglers to pick up where he left off. This is Mann's strong suit, as we are dropped into the middle of the action instead of suffering through a bunch scenes and conversations inserted for the sake of exposition. We know little to nothing about Crocket and Tubbs or their crew, and its for the best. We know they are cops, and we know who the bad guys are, and for this movie that's enough.
Towards the middle the picture's narrative gets bogged down with questionable pacing. Too much of the action is misplaced with a wasted romantic subplot between Crockett and a woman in the employ of the druglord they are trying to take down, and it gives Farrell just enough reason to show his "inner conflict" which only made him seem slightly deranged and kind of pathetic.
Still, Mann makes movies that are always worth watching even if the visuals are sometimes better than the story they are telling.

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