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Miami Vice

No Rules 

Year: 2006 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Miami Vice

Director: Michael Mann
Starring: Colin Farrell, Jaime Foxx, Li Gong

It’s a film based on an 80s TV series (please keep reading, it gets better) about two very sharply dressed vice squad detectives of the Miami Police Department who together take on Florida’s drug world. Have no fear, Miami Vice is not concerned with taking a trip down a memory lane adorned with mullets and shoulder pads- although Colin Farrell’s locks do attempt to pay tribute to the decade, Michael Mann’s updated adaptation is satisfyingly dark, gritty and complex.

The plot, involving planes trains, boats and as many flash cars as you can shake a stick at, circles around an undercover project for the two detectives, leading them to the heart of a highly dangerous drugs trafficking circle. Exactly how dangerous this will be for them personally becomes apparent when Sonny (Farrell) finds himself sleeping with the enemy, and Rico’s (Foxx) loved ones become targets. Blurring the lines between the personal and the professional, all relationships involved become more and more fraught, climaxing in a massively explosive finale. Be wary though. This plot twists and turns like a particularly twisty-turny snake. It’s not just about the pretty faces, and you will have to hold your concentration for the duration of the entire two hours and fourteen minutes. All this is backed by a solid soundtrack, thankfully not delving into its televisual past for inspiration, and features instead contemporary sounds from artists such as Moby and Goldfrapp. And yes that Linkin Park/Jay-Z track from the trailer pops up too.

As well as starring Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell, Naomi Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean 2) and Li Gong (Memoirs of a Geisha) put in good performances too. But absorbing as the characters are, the trailers promise what the film delivers, and what really makes this an experience is the action scenes. The real spectacle in the movie is the sheer style of direction, individual and unique, totally different from your bog-standard action films. If you liked Collateral then you’ll love this too, as Mann takes on some far more complex scenes and handles them beautifully. From a visual and an audio perspective, expect to be blown away. Never mind bullets whizzing past your ears Neo-stylee, these ones are thudding straight into your chest, and they hit hard.

Steph Janes

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Screenings of this film:

2006/2007 Spring Term (35mm)