If I need history to appreciate this film...
This is true and one of the best things about the movie. It just happens, and he expects you to keep up. It opens with a crash cut to a nightclub (no credits at all, not even the movie title) and just goes. I liked that aspect of it a lot.Originally Posted by Andrew Myers
If I need history to appreciate this film...
Knowledge of the original series is less essential to enjoying the film than it was to enjoying GTA: Vice City.Originally Posted by bago
The fact he's brave enough to say to audiences, "We're gonna tell a story here. It's up to you to keep up with it." is enough for me to recommend this to anyone who's tired of films throwing every plot point in your face so you won't miss it. It's the right way to make a movie IMO, at least a movie like this one.
I thought everyone in the film was great, but especially Jamie Foxx and all the "bad guys". Of course Foxx gets some of the best lines. The one about all of them closing their eyes and not making any money and especially the one after he claps his hands. That whole scene was fantastic.
What I liked best though is the people behaved like people. They weren't too over the top and they reacted as I'd expect them to in these situations. Sure, the cops have a lot of hardware, but then again they're making multi-million dollar drug busts regularly according to the mythos of the show.
I'll wait for Flower's review.Originally Posted by Andrew Myers
I need to know if the chase scenes will make me feel like I'm getting chased.
I thought Farrell was surprisingly great, but I thought Foxx was a bit of a let down here. Still, really enjoyed the movie overall.Originally Posted by Dave Long
I thought they were all basically in the same undercover "group" and those officers were basically playing Crockett and Tubbs' lackeys in the scenario so it made sense they were the ones to take action- in the aforementioned rescue scenario, they could conduct the rescue while still plausibly maintaining their cover, something they couldn't do if a SWAT team or a whole bunch of black and whites showed up.Originally Posted by Rywill
Except that a bunch of SWAT teams and black-and-whites did show up. I actually thought that was going to turn out to be the point -- I thought the intel guy had had his guys pull the whole thing just to force the undercover guys to expose the fact that they're cops. When the intel guy later tells his boss "I beg you to look at this" and opens the laptop, I was 100% sure I was going to see one of his hidden cameras (remember, we knew he had one looking into the trailer, so maybe he has others there) showing Tubbs, with his badge around his neck, carrying the woman's body into the police car, and all the cops swarming around helping the undercover team.
The biggest problem with this movie was not that it lacked truthiness. It did, but I could have lived with that. The romance angle was fucking retarded, and the girl sucked. I mean, Farrell was struggling with that part, but she was abysmal, perm and all. I usually have a weakness to asian women, even able to ignore other lackluster female love interests such as the one in the Quiet American. But she was terribly miscast, had even worse lines (FORTUNE COOKIES? FUCK!), and overall added nothing to the movie except a sense that no way in hell were the bad guys as professional as they first seemed.
The action sequences were money, the jargon top notch. Mann struggled with some of the cliches of the genre (the injured female team member) and came up with less than ideal answers (yay! no more coma at the end...I can sleep well tonight!) and could have done with more of the approach he showed at the beginning by starting off the movie with no warning and no introduction.
Also, I think a movie that should have centered on Jamie Foxx instead did on Farrell. Or it should have been more even, which would have been possible if they'd cast aside the ridiculous romance.
And that Trailers thread reminds me: Worst trailers, ever. Children of Men was a terrible book and looks to be a bad movie, Cuaron or not, and the only other notable was Snakes...the rest were just the bottom of the barrel...Sports underdog movies crossbred with dangerous minds....it was just awful.
It's so tragic realizing what demographic stereotypes one unwittingly supports by seeing a guilty pleasure film. Speaking of which, while sitting in the lobby all they showed were ads for that Outkast movie (I don't think so) and an endless stream of terrible children's movies. Why didn't Shrek and the Incredibles set the right precedents instead of Problem Child?
Except that a bunch of SWAT teams and black-and-whites did show up. I actually thought that was going to turn out to be the point -- I thought the intel guy had had his guys pull the whole thing just to force the undercover guys to expose the fact that they're cops. When the intel guy later tells his boss "I beg you to look at this" and opens the laptop, I was 100% sure I was going to see one of his hidden cameras (remember, we knew he had one looking into the trailer, so maybe he has others there) showing Tubbs, with his badge around his neck, carrying the woman's body into the police car, and all the cops swarming around helping the undercover team
Well, during the "rescue" they only showed up after the trailer went boom and in that scenario it was expected since a trailer exploding like that is certainly going to bring the force down on them. Before that the only non-undercover officer on the scene was Crockett and Tubbs' boss and he wasn't in line of sight with the rest of team.
And during the finale, the SWAT team doesn't show up until everything has gone down but it didn't matter anyway since it was pretty clear they had given up trying to stay undercover and sting the operation and instead were going to try and knock out the middle-level guy and make a (failed) stab at Jesus.
I have to say Miami Vice is a terrible movie. The plot was thin, consisting of a bunch of drug drops and then a shootout at the end with little coherence or explanation about what was happening. I could buy the affair between Sonny and the Asian chick as a fling. Except I cannot believe that someone cunning enough to rise to the top of a worldwide drug organization would fall helplessly in love with a cop with a bad haircut. The dialog was banal, mainly consisting of short phrases meant to sound deep. The movie could have easily been shorter if they had simply cut out all the setting shots of oceans and waterfalls and "Go fast boats" flying everywhere and simply cut to what was happening.
To cap the movie off was the worst firefight I remember. We get a bunch of over the shoulder views where we can't see anything about what's happening so that in the end all we know is people are shooting guns back and forth. Dom from Entourage is also hanging around the white supremacists shooting them in the back, which they are too dumb to notice despite being smart enough to set up two snipers beforehand. And then Farrel and the Asian decide to have their romantic spat in the middle of the donnybrook. Just awful.
I can see that Mann was trying to do something new, but the whole movie felt flat.
The best part of the movie was Foxx's sex scene where he went, "Just kidding."
I'm still wondering why they put a shitty romance in the middle of what promised to be high-octane undercover drug bust movie.
I liked that they throw you right in the middle of the story and let it develope and cut down on the expository dialogue. What they replaced it with instead on the other hand was melodramatic cheese meant to represent some sort of burgeoning romance between bad-haircut and bad accented english. I usually love Gong Li, but she was terribly miscasted here as well as terribly directed. I don't think Mann knows how to deal with women in his movies.
Everything was actually subpar Mann, which is of course, still better than average generic cop thriller from nowhere. Still, like MikeP said, it feels a little flat. There was rarely any tension and the story wasn't so sure whether it was heading towards a climax with the White Supremesist or Montoya. It felt like they gave up the suspense in the middle so they can get to the one single firefight they had in the entire movie. Everything else was beautiful shots of Miami and Farrell working to make us believe he was in love or something.
Can't help but wonder what the original ending they'd planned to shoot in Paraguay (before Foxx refused to go) would've been.
FURTHER SPOILAGEOriginally Posted by MikeP
Let's set aside the unevenness of the Aryan tactical proficiency (their snipers were well armed but not very good, and were at the point where they could believably only be effective if unexpected). How the fuck are they some Latino drug guy's go to team? How is it that when the chips are down and he's got to make his big move to checkmate Gong and the Vice boys, he turns to them of all people? Let's set aside their billing, even in the movie, as a smalltime gang at best; what the hell kind of white supremacists are they? It's one thing to negotiate with others as a matter of pragmatism as in American history X, but this was just ridiculous and served no purpose.
That said, they were the foil for the best exchange in the movie, which was when that blond girl was all like "medulla oblonGATA" and he was all like "whuh?" and then spattered all over the walls. But that's no excuse, still.
Yeah, that was a great exchange, and it made me wonder if it's possible. My anatomy textbooks are in boxes so all I have to go on is Wiki, but I'm guessing she was referring to the pyramidal decussation in the medulla where all the motor fibres cross. Assuming she could perfectly aim on the midline at the back of the guys head, there's probably a lot of vertical variability in brainstem location, and if she misses, the motor neurons can probably still fire. I'm guessing it would make more sense to hit the motor nerve in the shoulder where there's probably a more stereotyped location.Originally Posted by Lizard_King
Of course, shoulder does not sound as cool as medulla oblonGATA.
I'm curious too because the current ending felt pretty natural considering everything that lead up to it so it's hard for me to imagine how they would have worked Paraguay into the finale.Originally Posted by Andrew Myers
I think you believe that the drug lord knew they were "Vice boys" when there was no indication that any of them knew they were cops. All they knew was that Sonny and Rico were good at what they did and that Sonny and Gong Li's character had fallen in love, something that apparently pissed off the guy at the top and they didn't trust Sonny from the beginning.Originally Posted by Lizard_King
There's every indication that the white supremacists and the drug folks had no clue they were dealing with cops at all, which is why the cops were able to get their own snipers set up and get the drop on all of them. I don't think there was a single scene that showed them figuring out they were dealing with police.
I thought this movie kicked all kinds of ass. Gave a real feel for the incredible amount of balls undercover narc officers must have to inhabit and survive in that world. The scene where Crocket and Tubbs first go to Haiti to meet the guy there was intense.
I was on the edge of my seat during the "trailer takedown", and the final shootout was the best I've seen on-screen since... well, since Heat. Nobody films that kind of kinetic, cinema verite shootout like Mann does.
My jury is still out on what I thought of it overall. It's a hard film to follow at times because as other posters have said Mann does not compromise the realism in order to make the story easy to follow. A lot of dialog just blows by you because it's delivered so fast and is so jargon-heavy.
But I love the understated way in which Mann does everything. Compare this to a movie like Bad Boys II where everything feels so manufactured; by contrast Mann's films feel practically like documentaries and are all the more powerful and absorbing for that. The one shot that really stayed with me was from the beginning of the movie when Crockett and Tubbs' contact stepped out into the road to get hit by the truck - just the two-second shot of that blood trail behind the truck as it slammed on its breaks was enough to get an audible reaction from the audience, whereas Michael Bay would probably have shown you the guy getting splattered in super close-up slow-motion.
Also, was it just me or during the scene when Crockett and Tubbs were flying the drugs back to the US on their first run, were there a few bars from the original "Crockett's Theme" worked into the soundtrack?
I think the intel guy -- can't remember his name -- definitely thought they were cops. When he tells his boss "They're too good," I assumed that's what he meant: that real crooks doing business they way they did would have been busted by now, so the only explanation is that they haven't been busted because they're cops themselves.Originally Posted by Dave Long
That doesn't make sense to me. Whether Crockett and Tubbs are undercover cops, or just another criminal organization, they could still have snipers and other guys helping them. If anything, you would think that real crooks (as opposed to undercover cops) would have MORE money and more ability to pull off an ambush. (Although I guess in this movie the fiction is that the Miami PD has assloads of cash.)There's every indication that the white supremacists and the drug folks had no clue they were dealing with cops at all, which is why the cops were able to get their own snipers set up and get the drop on all of them.
Which was another thing that bothered me during the finale: the supervisor cop says they have to stall until he locates the snipers so they can be taken out. How does he know there are exactly two snipers?
Totally. That was one of the best scenes in the whole movie. Similarly, I loved the shot of the white supremacist in that guy's girlfriend's house, where he goes to the fridge and you catch just a bit of the rubber glove with blood all over it. Very well done. I thought the second half of the film didn't really have any moments like that, though.Originally Posted by Gary Whitta
(SPOILER, in case anyone hasn't noticed this thread is in total spoilerville by now)
Wondered the same thing. Perhaps they'd determined there were two snipers when they ambushed the feds at the start of the film from the shot patterns, etc?Originally Posted by Rywill
Yeah that makes sense, it wouldn't have been difficult for them to figure out that the gunshots had come from precisely two different locations.Originally Posted by Andrew Myers
You believe incorrectly. About my beliefs, that is. I was just using "vice boys" as shorthand, but I'm sorry if it caused confusion. The beard (whatever his name was) had plenty of reasons not to like C & T, not to mention Gong. That wasn't my problem. I just thought the closeness of his relationship with the Aryans, especially since they were referred to early on in the movie as strictly small time, was surreal at best and for some reason bothered me almost as much as offender no 1, which was the romance.Originally Posted by Dave Long
As for the two shooters, just to reinforce what Andrew said, when you choose to go with not one but two m107's (I believe, either way definitely .50 cal), especially when there is a car to leave long tracks, would be no sweat for even an untrained observer to figure out. All you'd need is a ruler, to oversimplify a bit, to determine locations and numbers would be even more straightforward.
I didn't think of this till just now in the discussion, but wasn't that opening shoot-out (where Blasinov bites it thanks to Sol) in the exact same place? Shouldn't they have not only known there were two snipers, but have been even more prepared as soon as they heard that's where the meeting was switched to?
I don't know, while similar in look the shooter positions looked different and the environment did as well in small ways. I would be very surprised if the criminals thought a place where they wasted people they *knew* were FBI would be a good place to shoot anyone. It would make more sense if they were just similar places of a sort they find congenial, rather than the same exact one, but I'd have to see it again to know.Originally Posted by Wholly Schmidt
Every CQB course I have taken has focused on the fatal triangle, drawn between the eyes and the center of your upper lip just below the septum. There's a lot of variations on the theme of exactly what you are going for, especially with your shot angle factored in, but the general consensus is that landing rounds in that general vicinity from any reasonable angle will incapacitate the target before he is able to respond.Originally Posted by MikeP
Of course, I don't know anyone that is so confident that they would take a single shot over at least a hammered pair in that vicinity plus one to the chest, especially given the distance between her and the target and the fact that the hostage was well out of the way. It was much less of a tough shot to gamble on than Pacino's in Heat with the little kid and Tom Sizemore, and I think it's as much Mann's kind of "thing" as those stupid birds in Woo movies. Then again, that could be more a matter of the difference between police situations and military ones and their corresponding operating procedures, and it certainly worked for dramatic effect in a movie.
Plus, it really sounded cool.
LK- You misunderstood that conversation. The FBI guy was telling a disbelieving Crockett that these Aryans weren't small time.especially since they were referred to early on in the movie as strictly small time, was surreal at best and for some reason bothered me almost as much as offender no 1, which was the romance.
Yeah, Tubbs was initially saying "This can't be right, aryan gangs aren't big-time enough to be hooked into this kind of operation", and the FBI guy was responding along the lines of "This isn't your typical aryan gang."Originally Posted by Ben
One thing I missed - did they ever figure out who the leak was? I know they narrowed it down to the FBI DC bureau (right?) by supplying each agency with slightly different information about when the shipment was coming in, but that sub-plot didn't seem to be resolved beyond that. Initially that was the whole point of Crockett and Tubbs going undecover - to find out which part of the inter-agency task force was the leak. When it pointed to the FBI I thought they were going to go with the cheesy option and make Ciaran Hinds the mole. I'm glad they didn't do that, but I also felt that we were left hanging with not finding out specifically who was the leak. Was this just Mann being his usual cryptic self?
I suppose we could have got some more closure (ie Castillo saying "hey guys, we found the mole") but I love that Mann didn't cheap out by having Hinds be the mole for the sake of economy of characters. Instead, since the film is generally a window into Crockett and Tubbs point of view (though we do break out to a couple of scenes they aren't present for), they essentially finished their end of the job when they ran the leak down to the FBI Washington office so from their standpoint, as well as the audiences, it's irrelevant if we ever get an actual name to go with the leak. I think the other piece of their mission was sweating the Aryans for information which I suppose they might have accomplished too but I can't remember if any of them lived through the final battle.Originally Posted by Gary Whitta
Ok. I see that. I guess that particular mumble slipped by me. They meant atypical in that they were not only big league but pretty cool on the whole race thing so long as the cash was green, I imagine.Originally Posted by Gary Whitta
I don't know, but they definitely played their hand such as it was by raiding Mr Bigshot's house, so I'm assuming they must have gotten that fixed. Either that or the leak was so highly placed they had to go ahead since they realized he'd been forewarned.One thing I missed - did they ever figure out who the leak was? I know they narrowed it down to the FBI DC bureau (right?) by supplying each agency with slightly different information about when the shipment was coming in, but that sub-plot didn't seem to be resolved beyond that. Initially that was the whole point of Crockett and Tubbs going undecover - to find out which part of the inter-agency task force was the leak. When it pointed to the FBI I thought they were going to go with the cheesy option and make Ciaran Hinds the mole. I'm glad they didn't do that, but I also felt that we were left hanging with not finding out specifically who was the leak. Was this just Mann being his usual cryptic self?