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Miami Vice

Review courtesy of SA Movie & DVD Magazine

By James O'Ehley

And Colin wasn't prepared to discuss Foxx's Oscar win for Ray anymore . . .

Uncomfortable seats, sound problems and an overlong dull movie all conspired to make the South African premiere of Miami Vice at Monte Casino this week a tortuous ordeal...

No wonder the cinemas are running empty and people prefer to watch their movies at home!

If I had watched this re-imagining of the old corny 1980s TV series as a tough naturalistic crime thriller about two cops (played by Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx instead of Don Johnson and that other guy) infiltrating a drug cartel and Farrell becoming romantically involved with a drug lord's squeeze at home, then I'm sure that at least the sound would have been okay. However, during several scenes the sound just simply disappeared, leaving the cinema audience to make up their own sound effects and dialogue — something which scarily enough was a lot more entertaining than what was happening on the screen!

Also, my sofa at home is a lot more comfortable than that particular torture device masquerading as a cinema seat, and if I had watched the movie at home on DVD then I could have fast forwarded through the dull bits. Which come to think of it is practically the entire movie, except for one attention grabbing action sequence halfway through and a crackerjack ultra-realistic gunfight with automatic weapons towards the end. (If you were expecting car chases: there aren't any. Yeah, I know — a Miami Vice movie without any car chases!)

For the rest one had to endure personality-less characters espousing incomprehensible techno jargon dialogue (with the phrase ''this is how it's going to happen'' popping up a lot) — a bit like sitting through a dull business meeting.

Also, director Michael Mann chucks away traditional storytelling concepts as exposition and context, and with the (intentionally) amateurish jerky and grainy digital camerawork watching the movie is like watching a film crew follow a group of people round and filming them as they do stuff which makes sense to them, but not to the viewer since no one ever bothered explaining what the hell was happening and why you should actually care about what was happening.

Ten minutes into Miami Vice and I just knew that I was going to hate it, and unfortunately I was right: boring and overlong with scenes just stretched out for no apparent reason Miami Vice tries to be more arty and gritty than your typical Bad Boys-type buddy cop action flick, but as much as it galls me to say this: I'd rather watch Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in action than endure the emotionally aloof Foxx and Farrell again . . .

But the most incredible thing about Miami Vice is that they spent 130 million U.S. dollars on making it — the type of money Hollywood usually spends on big special effects extravaganzas such as the Star Wars movies. Miami Vice however looks so cheap that one fellow cinemagoer afterwards commented that they probably spent all the money on catering . . .

Worst movie of the year so far. Better if they had remade the whole thing as a comedy like they did with the recent Starsky & Hutch movie.

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