The names James ‘Sonny’ Crockett, Ricardo ‘Rico’ Tubbs, detectives Trudy Joplin and. Gina Calabrese, and Lieutenant Castillo are all familiar names to Miami Vice fans. The original 1980's television show was built around two hip and very unorthodox vice cops who repeatedly find that their professional and personal lives are never black or white but shades gray. The shade of gray always depended upon on the particular case they were involved in at the time. In Miami Vice 2006, history does repeat itself in the names and premise, but that is where the similarities end. This new version is a good cop drama, but it is not the old Miami Vice of the 80’s, if you can remember that, you will enjoy watching detectives Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) do their thing.
Crockett and Tubbs go undercover after an FBI infiltration operation has gone belly-up. They become drug transporters to catch drug runners who have killed three people. The films color is not so much dreary as it is dark and pulsating. You may find your mind wandering back to the original series when the color and the detective’s style were electric bright. The action here is tight and tense. The detectives must prove to the drug runners that they are who and what they say they are. Actor John Ortiz’ character José Yero shines. He is interesting to watch, he is obviously unhappy with his “middleman” position; his hostilities and jealousy become more evident as we observe his actions. One of the front men is a woman, Isabella (Li Gong/Gong Li) who is the financial officer and lover of drug lord and arms trafficker Arcángel de Jesús Montoya.
Love does rear its head here as in the original series, Rico and Trudy (Naomi Harris) are living together, which makes this Rico less teasing and playful. Love has made him more levelheaded and vulnerable, you see it when Trudy is held hostage. When Crockett makes the mistake of falling for Isabella, Tubbs is quick to point out the danger of such a liaison. Crockett finds himself torn between and love.
Barry Shabaka Henley does works well as Lieutenant Castillo. His Castillo is slightly rumpled, and he has a ‘of the people’ look, he looks like his men can be sure that he has their backs when they are in trouble. This a good movie, however do not expect it to mirror the 1980’s television series. Michael Mann direct the 2006 Miami Vice. He was executive producer and creator of the 1980’s series.
Rated R for violence, sexual content and language.