- This article is about the 2006 feature film adaptation. For the VHS release, see Miami Vice: The Movie.
July 28, 2006
An all-new Crockett and Tubbs pose as high-level traffickers to infiltrate a global contraband smuggling empire and find the killers of a team of undercover FBI agents.
The Vice squad are at the Mansion nightclub running surveillance on a pimp named Neptune (Isaach De Bankolé), who uses the club as a front to provide high-class prostitutes to wealthy customers. Switek, who is acting undercover as an interested client, is in the middle of making the deal when Crockett’s phone rings and he heads outside to answer it. It is his informant, Alonzo Stevens (John Hawkes), currently speeding across Miami in his car. He begs Crockett to look after his wife, and insists he gave up nothing on him and Tubbs before hanging up. Realising something is going wrong, Tubbs calls Alonzo’s house to check on his wife Leonetta but only gets an answering machine. As he leaves a message a member of the Miami-based Aryan Brotherhood gang is there helping himself to food from the fridge; Leonetta is already dead. At the same time Crockett phones John Fujima (Ciarán Hinds) at the FBI, knowing Alonzo is now working for him, and informs him that their case is going bad as they speak. The Vice team pulls out of Mansion, knowing that busting Neptune will have to wait, and quickly track Alonzo’s Bentley to one of the city’s freeways.
At the same time, Fujima’s men rendezvous with more members of the Aryan Brotherhood, led by Coleman (Tom Towles) at a disused dockyard for a preliminary meeting. After the two sides show their respective merchandise the federal agents prepare to leave, but at the last moment Coleman admits he knows they work for the FBI, and men hidden in the surrounding area open up with large-calibre sniper rifles, killing all of the agents before they can escape. Back on the freeway, Crockett and Tubbs chase Alonzo down in Crockett’s Ferrari F430 and confront him on the shoulder. He admits that the Aryans already knew they were dealing with FBI agents courtesy of a leak, and that they only kidnapped Leonetta to force him to confirm it. As they talk, Tubbs receives a phone call telling him Leonetta’s body has been found at their home. Upon learning this, Alonzo steps out in front of a semi-trailer truck, killing himself.
Later that night, Crockett and Tubbs meet with Castillo and Fujima at a car park in downtown Miami. Fujima informs them that, as his operation was being run by a taskforce comprised of many different departments, he has no way of knowing where the leak originated. He recruits Crockett and Tubbs to take down the Aryans who killed his agents by offering their services transporting drugs for their supplier, José Yero (John Ortiz).
To help ensure their employment with Yero, Crockett and Tubbs hit his current transporter, destroying their equipment and disguising the attack as a rival group stealing their product. Next, they use another of their informants, a high-rolling money launderer named Nicholas (Eddie Marsan), to make themselves known to Yero’s organisation. Sure enough, word reaches Yero in Paraguay and a meeting is set. Crockett and Tubbs fly to Haiti for the meet, and after a tense confrontation, Yero gives no assurance that they will do business together. Crockett and Tubbs return to their apartment, unsure of their position. They also realise that even if they are employed by the cartel, due to their influence across America it may take more than one load to gain contact with the Aryan Brotherhood in Miami.
To their surprise Yero’s organisation contacts them almost immediately, setting another meet. The Vice cops go to the agreed location only to find no one there, and after waiting for several hours they decide to leave. Upon returning to their apartment they find Yero’s accountant Isabella (Gong Li) waiting for them with several armed men. She tells them that they are on, and that they are going to meet the head of Yero’s cartel, Arcángel de Jesús Montoya (Luis Tosar). Montoya informs Crockett and Tubbs that they will probably never meet again regardless of the outcome of their initial shipment, that he demands loyalty and efficiency from them, and makes thinly veiled threats against their families to ensure their co-operation.
Crockett and Tubbs personally transport the drugs back to America by plane, concealing their passage by flying dangerously close to a registered flight being piloted by Zito. Once back on American soil, the Vice team are soon contacted by Yero congratulating them for their success. Crockett falsely claims that a third party attempted to steal the shipment prior to delivery, and that while dealing with them they subsequently found more contraband that the group had stolen previously. Yero comes to America personally to investigate, and finds the drugs that the Vice squad had taken earlier while disrupting his cartel’s previous transport network. Crockett demands to know who has been supplying the fictional third party with their information, and Yero bitterly insists he will find out.
At their next meeting, Yero accuses Crockett and Tubbs of stealing the recovered drugs themselves (which of course they did), but by demanding nothing for finding the missing load they convince him that they can be trusted and deserve more work. While Tubbs arranges the details of the next shipment, Crockett goes outside and invites Isabella for a drink, and she insists they go to a bar she knows in Havana, Cuba. Crockett reluctantly agrees, reassuring Tubbs he knows what he is doing. While in Cuba that night they make love, and the next day they decide to begin a relationship, despite both knowing it is dangerous. Crockett uses his new influence to suggest to Isabella that he and Tubbs forfeit their payment on the next shipment in exchange for a percentage cut of the business and a long-term contract. She says she will think it over. Crockett is clearly troubled by the lies he is having to tell Isabella, as his feelings for her are very real.
Crockett returns to Miami and informs Tubbs of the situation, who is deeply concerned by the new developments. They meet with Castillo and Fujima again, and Crockett tells them his plans for a long-term undercover investigation, hoping to ultimately take down Montoya and his global network. When the idea is met with scepticism from Fujima and ultimately rejected, Crockett becomes angry. Castillo steps in and asks Tubbs if he agrees with Crockett’s plans, and when he reluctantly admits that he does, the Lieutenant tells Fujima to give the operation the green light or lose all help from the Vice squad. Fujima accepts, but after he leaves Castillo expresses his concern to Crockett, warning him that he had better be right.
At Montoya’s house in Paraguay, Isabella passes on Crockett’s business proposition, pointing out that with Crockett and Tubbs fully guaranteeing every load they run, their own risk in the operation is reduced to virtually zero. She also tells him what happened in Havana, but Montoya is unmoved; he had told her to seduce Crockett in order to obtain information. He tells her that Yero wants to have Crockett and Tubbs killed after the next shipment and asks her opinion, clearly seeking to test her loyalty. She says she thinks the business partnership has potential, but attempts to conceal her feelings for Crockett by claiming she will accept it if Montoya decides to let Yero go through with the planned executions. He accepts what she says and decides Crockett and Tubbs should continue to work for him through Yero. They then sleep together; Isabella is Montoya’s girl.
Yero still wants to have Crockett and Tubbs killed, even more so when he learns of Crockett’s continued and secret relationship with Isabella, whom he harbours concealed feelings for. As Crockett’s own feelings for Isabella grow he tries to convince her to leave the organisation and get away, knowing that she is bound to be implicated in any charges his investigation will lead to, but she refuses. At the same time a plan is formulated to root out the source of the leak in the US law enforcement agencies by supplying each department with different information and seeing what filters back to them through Yero. The plan works, and the leak is traced to the FBI in Washington, D.C.
As the Vice squad supervise the next shipment, the Aryan Brotherhood reappears, kidnapping Trudy from her home and taking her to a trailer park where they rig her with explosives. They phone Crockett and Tubbs to inform them and demand the drugs be delivered on to their terms. While Zito, Switek and Gina race to get the contraband to the new drop-off point, Crockett, Tubbs and Castillo attempt to locate Trudy from what little information they could gather from the phone call they received. Crockett phones Isabella to check she is safe, and upon learning of the situation she tells him that Yero is behind everything.
Tubbs and Gina lead the assault on the trailer where Trudy is being held. All of the Aryan Brotherhood are either arrested or killed and Trudy is freed. However, the remaining Aryans at the drop-off point inform Yero that the drugs have not yet arrived and he detonates the explosives in the trailer by telephone, catching Trudy in the blast and seriously wounding her. She is rushed to hospital but she falls into a coma and her situation looks bleak.
Montoya meets with Yero, demanding to know what has happened to his drugs. Yero tells him Crockett and Tubbs have stolen the shipment for themselves, and provides evidence of Crockett and Isabella’s affair to cement his position. Yero phones the Vice team soon afterwards. Although he wants them dead, they still have his product, and he needs it back. A meet is set for the following night, and Crockett demands Yero be there in person to guarantee it is for real.
The team heads to the meet with the Aryan Brotherhood. Isabella is there, along with Yero, who explains that Montoya has given her to him now; he goads Crockett by telling him he will kill her once he becomes bored of her. The Brotherhood snipers are also present, just like they were at the meeting with the FBI agents, and Crockett and Tubbs are forced to stall while Castillo and a team of Miami-Dade sharpshooters try to locate them. Isabella and Switek exchange places to check the money and the drugs when the Miami-Dade sharpshooters eliminate the Aryan snipers, triggering a large gunfight. Eventually, the Aryans are all killed, Tubbs guns down Yero and Crockett shoots Coleman dead.
When Crockett pulls out his badge to identify himself to the incoming Miami-Dade officers, Isabella realises who he really is and attacks him. Before backup can arrive he takes her away by car to a safehouse on the coast, where he promises someone will take her to Cuba and she will not be followed. They say a tearful goodbye while Tubbs, sitting at Trudy's bedside in hospital, sees his girlfriend and fellow officer come out of her coma.
- Naomie Harris as Trudy Joplin
- Ciarán Hinds as FBI Agent Fujima
- Justin Theroux as Detective Zito
- Barry Shabaka Henley as Martin Castillo
- Luis Tosar as Montoya
- John Ortiz as José Yero
- Elizabeth Rodriguez as Gina Calabrese
- Domenick Lombardozzi as Detective Switek
- Eddie Marsan as Nicholas
- Isaach De Bankolé as Neptune
- John Hawkes as Alonzo Stevens
- Tom Towles as Coleman
- Mario Ernesto Sanchez as El Tiburon
According to rumors, Jamie Foxx is most directly responsible for the film adaptation of Miami Vice, mentioning his interest in such a project to Michael Mann at a wrap party for Ali. This led the director to revisit the series he had produced.
The film's Miami-based scenes were shot on location, although much of the movie's plot takes place outside of South Florida—filming also took place in Uruguay, Paraguay and the Caribbean. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma delayed filming by a week and added considerably to the film's budget. The film was shot using digital cameras (much like Mann's earlier Collateral, and Public Enemies subsequently), giving the film a distinctive, crisp, sharp look, particularly noticeable in night-time scenes.
The movie's production was highly troubled. Many of its problems were attributed to Jamie Foxx, who was characterized as unpleasant to work with. The star apparently showed up on set with a large entourage and "something of an attitude" after winning his Best Actor Oscar for Ray. He would not participate in any scenes set on boats or planes, and he refused to fly commercially, forcing Universal Studios to give him a private jet. He even went so far as to demand a large pay rise based on his new-found stardom, while also insisting that Colin Farrell, who as of 2012 has never won an Oscar, take a pay cut. The situation came to a head when a shooting occurred on set while filming in the Dominican Republic, and Foxx walked out on the production, refusing to do any more filming outside of the United States. As a result, Mann was forced to rewrite the movie's ending, eliminating the original version that was to be shot in Paraguay and was reportedly "much more dramatic".
Mann's reputation for perfectionism also caused tension on set, particularly with his insistence on making things as realistic as possible. To this end, he would film in areas considered so dangerous that the local law enforcement refused to provide protection, prompting Mann to hire gang members as bodyguards. More than once, filming was disrupted by incidents involving shots fired, including the one that drove Foxx to walk off.
To help them prepare for their roles, both Farrell and Foxx worked with undercover law enforcement officers, observing operations from a safe distance. Towards the end of this training Farrell was told he'd learned so much he was offered the chance to take part in a real police sting operation. During the operation (caught on video, excerpts of which can be seen on the DVD extras) the undercover officers' identities were questioned and guns were drawn. Farrell reports being scared for his life. He spontaneously ripped open his shirt to demonstrate he wasn't wearing a wire, an act the agent-in-charge later commended for being realistic, quick-witted improvisation. After suffering anxiety and insomnia that night, Farrell contacted the agent-in-charge in the early hours of the morning and was finally told that the sting operation was staged and that Farrell was never in any danger; originally he was never to be told about the set-up, but owing to his distress the agent felt compelled to tell him the truth. Farrell took the revelation in good nature, and later commented that it gave new meaning to the term "Punk'd".
Differences from the TV SeriesEdit
Aside from the obvious changes brought about as a result of the 20-year gap between the television series and the film, there are several notable differences between the canon laid down in the show and that put forward in the movie, including:
- Tubbs and Trudy are romantically involved in the film from the start, whereas their relationship in the series was never anything more than professional (despite some playful flirting, most notably in "Walk-Alone").
- Moreover, Trudy is not actually a detective in the film, she is an intelligence analyst.
- Castillo is an African-American in the film.
- Switek's first name is Michael, not Stanley (or "Stan") as it was in the series.
- Both Tubbs and Zito are qualified to fly light aircraft.
- Crockett's preferred drink is stated to be a Bacardi Mojito, whereas in the show he was almost always shown drinking Jack Daniels whiskey, which he often refers to simply as "Black Jack".
An unrated director's cut of the film, running 7 minutes longer than the theatrical version, was later released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States. As with all of Michael Mann director's cuts, many of the changes are relatively minor and include the removal of some material from the theatrical cut as well as the addition of new and alternative scenes. Even so, many people view the director's cut as a slightly closer approximation to the television series with more scenes paying homage to the show that spawned it. The changes include:
- A 3 minute opening sequence where Crockett and Tubbs take part in a boat race around Miami in Crockett's speedboat. They finish a close second. This scene includes opening credits, which are totally absent from the theatrical cut, and is akin to the lengthy boat race from "The Great McCarthy".
- Following the boat race, there is a further scene where Crockett and Tubbs observe Switek setting up the deal with Neptune at Mansion that starts the theatrical version.
- A brief scene after the meeting with Nicholas where Nicholas rings Yero to set up the deal with Crockett and Tubbs.
- The scene where Crockett and Tubbs get stood up by Yero and are then confronted by Isabella and Yero's men in their hotel room has been removed. Instead, they simply get the phone call and go to meet Montoya.
- After the meet with Montoya, the scene is extended after Montoya and his men leave. Tubbs finds his phone is working again and he calls Trudy. She thanks him for the bouquet of roses he sent her, but they quickly realise that they were actually from Montoya, sent as proof that he knows about them and can get to Trudy if he needs to. Trudy becomes nervous, fearful that she is being watched, and goes to get her gun.
- Immediately after this, the scene cuts to a diner back in Miami where Tubbs and Trudy discuss the issue while the rest of the team watch their backs. Trudy points out that the cartel's intelligence network is evidently far more effective than the FBI's. Tubbs reassures her that their faked criminal identities will hold, but Trudy becomes angry, pointing out that it is he who is in real danger of harm if he is discovered, and that he can't be worrying about her whilst undercover.
- After Crockett and Isabella have made love, a new 1 minute scene on the balcony at Isabella's apartment in Havana has been added where she tells Crockett that she grew up in this house and that her mother was a surgeon.
- As a result of the above change, this information about Isabella's mother has been removed from the subsequent scene in the diner.
- The song "In the Air Tonight" by Nonpoint plays over the buildup and drive to the final shootout, mirroring the original's use in "Brother's Keeper".
- After fleeing the shootout, Isabella attacks Crockett while he's driving her to the safehouse. The car spins out on the freeway and he ties her up before continuing.
- A brief shot at the safehouse where Crockett cuts Isabella's hands free to preserve continuity after the previous addition.
- As a result of the new opening credits, the closing credits have been shortened. Nonpoint's "In The Air Tonight" no longer plays, replaced by "One Of These Mornings" by Moby feat. Patti LaBelle (which is the second song played over the credits in the theatrical cut).
- The order of the film's starring credits differs depending on where it is viewed. In the United States, Jamie Foxx was given top billing, marking the first (and, to date, only) time Tubbs has been billed ahead of Crockett. In Europe, Colin Farrel received top billing.
- Much of the plot of the movie was based on the episode "Smuggler's Blues", and certain lines were even repeated almost word for word. Also, the subplot about Trudy getting captured and placed in a booby-trapped trailer takes place in that episode.
- The Mansion nightclub featured at the start of the film previously appeared in the Miami Vice television series (under its then-current name Club 1235) as the venue where Caitlin Davies performs her final concert before being murdered by Frank Hackman in the episode "Deliver Us from Evil".
- The scene where Crockett and Isabella travel to Havana in Crockett’s speedboat, set to "One Of These Mornings" by Moby feat. Patti LaBelle, is very similar to the scene from "Calderone's Return (Part II)" where Crockett and Tubbs travel to the Caribbean, set to Russ Ballard's "Voices".
- The scene where Gina squares off against an Aryan Brotherhood member who threatens to detonate the booby-trapped trailer if she tries to shoot him is similar to the scene in "Glades" where James "Sonny" Crockett confronts Billy Joe Higgins, who says he will shoot Tammy Bramlette if Crockett tries to take him down. In both cases, the villain ends up getting shot in the head after the protagonist explains that they won't even twitch.
- While the film's style and tone are very different from the television series, many classic Vice elements remain, including a soundtrack of contemporary songs tailored to the scenes in which they appear, nightclub sequences, live music performances, Crockett entering into a doomed love affair and Castillo standing up for his team against bullish law enforcement agents. Crockett and Tubbs use their classic aliases of Burnett and Cooper when undercover. Also, in true Vice fashion, the serious powers behind the cartel the Vice team are hoping to bring down escape prosecution at the end of the movie.
- In the film, Crockett says his father was in a band that played the music of The Allman Brothers Band. In the pilot episode of the series, it is stated that The Allman Brothers Band are Crockett's favourite group.
- Crockett's affinity for Ferraris continues, with Colin Farrell driving an F430 Spider.
- When the film was in pre-production, Don Johnson was asked who he thought could play Crockett. He suggested Colin Farrell.
- For the scene where the Aryan Brotherhood snipers kill the undercover FBI agents, the destruction of their car was done with real, live .50 calibre ammunition. The actors and additional effects were added digitally in post-production.
- Jay Amor, Marc Macaulay and Mario Ernesto Sanchez all appear in small roles in the film (Amor is uncredited); they are the only actors to appear in both the Miami Vice television series and the movie adaptation.
- Early promotional trailers for the film used B-roll footage from the movie Bad Boys II, which was also set in Miami, most notably shots of a light grey Ferrari 575M Maranello coupe on a causeweay, which was the car used by Will Smith's character. No 575M Maranello appears in the Miami Vice movie -- Crockett drives a dark grey Ferrari F430 Spider.
- When Tubbs tells Yero they will make his wallpaper look like a Jackson Pollock painting, he is leaning forward with both arms on the table. When the camera cuts to behind him, he is suddenly leaning back in his chair with one arm hanging behind it.
- The first cargo conveyed from Colombia for the cartel could not actually be carried by an Adam A500 aircraft as shown in the movie. Firstly, the aircraft's maximum range is far smaller than what Tubbs claims, and insufficient to cover the distance it does in the film. Moreover, the aircraft's maximum full-fuel payload capacity is a paltry 160 lbs (due to construction overweight), less than even the average pilot. Even with minimal fuel on board, the plane would be unable to carry 1 ton of cargo.
- When Crockett and Tubbs show Yero the load they "recovered", Yero is stood between Crockett and Tubbs, but in the shot of him leaving the room, Crockett is suddenly next to Tubbs with Yero beside them.
- When Crockett is taking Isabella to Cuba in his boat, the reflection of a camera can be seen in his sunglasses.
- When Tubbs charges after Yero in the final shootout, the rest of Coleman's men can be seen getting shot in the background. When the action cuts back to Isabella confronting Crockett, these men are alive again, and we see them getting killed a second time.
- "Numb/Encore" by Jay-Z and Linkin Park (Opening sequence in Mansion)
- "Sinnerman (Felix da Housecat's Heavenly House Mix)" by Nina Simone (Opening sequence in Mansion)
- "Blacklight Fantasy (Fundacion NYC Mix)" by Freaky Chakra (Opening sequence in Mansion)
- "Strict Machine (We Are Glitter Mix)" by Goldfrapp (Opening sequence in Mansion)
- "Ready For Love" by India.Arie (Tubbs and Trudy make love)
- "One Of These Mornings" by Moby feat. Patti LaBelle (Crockett and Isabella boating to Havana, end credits)
- "Arranca" by Manzanita (Crockett and Isabella dancing in Havana)
- "Shape Of Things To Come" by Audioslave (Crockett and Isabella make love, driving to the safehouse)
- "Sweep" by Blue Foundation (Crockett returns to Miami)
- "We're No Here" by Mogwai (Montoya's house in Paraguay)
- "Wide Awake" by Audioslave (Isabella arrives in Colombia and she and Crockett make love in the SUV)
- "Pennies In My Pocket" by Emilio Estefan (Yero's club)
- "Anthem (Cinematic Version)" by Moby (Running in Yero's load and going to save Trudy at the trailer park)
- "New World In My View" by King Britt (At the hospital and Yero takes Isabella)
- "Auto Rock" by Mogwai (Crockett and Isabella on the beach and Trudy waking up)
- "In The Air Tonight" by Nonpoint (End credits (theatrical version only), buildup to final shootout (Director's Cut only))
- "Mercado Nuevo" by John Murphy (Crockett and Tubbs go to meet Montoya)
- "A-500" by Klaus Badelt (Crockett and Tubbs fly the first load back to Florida)
- "Who Are You?" by John Murphy (Crockett and Isabella in diner, loading the ship in Panama, Isabella realises Crockett is a cop)
- "Ramblas" by King Britt (Crockett and Isabella talk at waterfront)
Response to the film has been mixed. While some complimented the way it updated the show's concept to a 21st-century setting, others compared it unfavorably with the television series. The manner in which the film's plot progressed was simultaneously lauded and criticised, with some complaining that they had difficulty understanding what was happening and why, while others appreciated the fact that the film refused to explicitly spell everything out simply for the benefit of its viewers. Some reviewers also commented negatively on the film's story, which they viewed as clichéd and uninspired.
Despite the criticisms aimed at the overall product, the film's innovative digital photography was almost unanimously praised, much as it had been in Mann's earlier film Collateral.
The film ultimately grossed about $164 million worldwide ($63 million domestically and a little over $100 million internationally), making it Mann's fourth most financially successful film (Heat, Public Enemies and Collateral are the top three). However, given its budget (reports vary between $135–150 million), it was only a minor success at the box office and considered a bit of a disappointment by Universal.
- "That is the hand we have been dealt at eleven forty seven o'clock on Saturday night. Now I don't know what case you guys have him on, but whatever it is, it is going bad, and it sounds like it is going bad right now." -- Crockett to Fujima regarding Alonzo Stevens' confession
- "This group goes from zero to high order violence like that!" -- Nicholas to the Vice team
- "I'm a fiend for mojitos..." -- Crockett to Isabella
- "Why do I get the feeling everyone knows we're here fifteen blocks out?" -- Crockett to Tubbs regarding the hostile atmosphere in Haiti
- "Because everyone knows we're here fifteen blocks out." -- Tubbs' response
- "If they didn't do time with us they ain't doing crime with us." -- Crockett to Yero
- "I will never doubt you!" -- Tubbs to Crockett
- "Let's take it to the limit one more time." -- Tubbs to Crockett
- "You fuck up, we fuck her up." -- Coleman to Crockett and Tubbs
- "What will happen is I will put a round at twenty-seven hundred feet per second into the medulla at the base of your brain, and you will be dead from the neck down before your body knows it. Your finger won't even twitch. Only you get dead. So tell me, sport, do you believe that?" -- Gina to an Aryan Brotherhood member
- "This was too good to last." -- Crockett to Isabella