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July 31, 2006

Miami Vice - 6

First off, I have never seen an episode of the 80's TV version of this. From the description I don't think I would have taken this very seriously, seemed like it was meant to be somewhat serious and somewhat just hip and cool. When I first heard about this remake it was not on my radar screen. In the past week, reviews have changed my mind. This film is nothing like the TV show. Which might explain why I actually enjoyed it. Some user comments about this film complain that they intimately know the characters and that the new film does not do them justice, my approach is completely the opposite. I don't know them, but its not complicated - they are two guys who work undercover for the Miami Police Department. What the film does well is keeps the characters in that grey area where the audience only knows they are the good guys because they are the main characters. There deep cover in drug trafficking means they have to at least pretend - and do it well- that they are criminals. As is typical of Michael Mann's more recent films (The Insider, Heat, and especially Collateral) the photography is dark and gritty, ideal for the subject matter. The plot seems complicated at first, but soon you discover it is the usual personal life gets messed up with their work... It still has enough club, boating, sex and gunfight scenes to keep the entertainment coming, but ends the film without a typical Hollywood happy ending. Watching the film gets you immersed in the world that Mann is showing you, not one you would probably want to be in. The reality of the film keeps the characters from becoming heroes, and the film really portrays life undercover as not very glamorous considering the setbacks (most of these types of film do make it a pretty glamorous profession). An interesting look into the psychology of those who have to be something they are not. Who are they when they are truly themselves?

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