One of the best films of 2006 that didn't get the chance in deserved. Miami Vice 2006 is not the original series, but it does have the heart of it. The basic characters, the stunning visuals, the music.
Yes, you get dropped in the middle of the story without a lot of set up. We know these characters. We don't need the back-story or an explanation of their relationship. Sonny and Rico can work together with little talk because that is what happens with real partners in stressful jobs. You know what to expect, how your partner will act and react without laying it out before hand. When Sonny gets in deep with Isabelle, Ricardo pulls a simple gut check and moves on. These two guys are on the same page. The team has briefings before the action, we just don't see all of it. I would like to see more of the other members of the team, but a movie can only be so long. This movie is about being deep undercover; your team is there to back you up in the big plays, but for most of the prep work you are on your own. The dialogue is strong and a bit minimalistic...not wasted on explaining the details to the audience, you either get or you don't.
I found the acting and emotional interaction of the characters stunning. These are people who have to play it close to the vest, not wear their hearts on their sleeves. If you've never had someone express their thoughts and emotions in just a look, then I feel sorry for you. Colin and Jamie do this amazingly well. In fact, I can't imagine any other actors today playing Sonny and Rico. It was understated, subtle, and yet very intense. The love stories involved were more real than anything else I've seen lately. Rico and Trudy both understand the work they do and how it can effect their relationship, they both get it. Someone outside their world could not relate, and a relationship would be less complete than it is with each other. For Sonny and Isabelle, it starts out as part of the game, and becomes more real than either of them expected. They try to pretend it's casual, but right or wrong, it is real. That their lives pull them away from each other, adds a level of raw pain you can feel. For Sonny, it's about being true to who he is and what he believes in, even if it means sacrificing true love.
The action was also stunning and yet not over the top. Graphic without being drawn out. As for dark and confusing...for others who listed this as a negative, they obviously have no concept of the reality of these situations. Dark and confusing is exactly what they are. The team is operating on experience and training and pure gut. Chaos is the norm in a shootout.This is a movie where the violence serves a purpose. Criminals use violence to gain the upper hand when needed, but too much would effect their bottom line. The cops use violence when forced to, to protect themselves and others, or to establish their cover, and though it is a last resort they do not flinch from it.
The look of this movie is even darker and more sweeping than the TV show and I would expect nothing less. The world is more global than it was in the 80's, and moving some of the action out of Miami makes sense today. I found both the gritty slums and the vast natural vistas equally stunning and an integral part of delivering the mood of the location and action.
Miami Vice brought to TV a new emphasis on using the music of the time to add a layer of emotion to the action on screen. While, I didn't find as many recognizable tracks as I thought I would, the songs used fit perfectly, further developing the mood of the scene.
This is a movie for adults. I don't mean just age. I mean attitude, sophistication, and most importantly, an appreciation for more than snappy dialogue that leaves nothing a mystery and gratuitous violence where stuff is blown up just because it's there.