Miami Vice (film)

Miami Vice (film)
Miami Vice

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Mann
Produced by Michael Mann
Pieter Jan Brugge
Written by Michael Mann
Based on Miami Vice by
Anthony Yerkovich
Starring Colin Farrell
Jamie Foxx
Gong Li
Music by John Murphy
Klaus Badelt
Cinematography Dion Beebe
Editing by William Goldenberg
Paul Rubell
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) July 28, 2006 (2006-07-28)
Running time 134 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $135 million[1][2]
Box office $163,794,509[1]

Miami Vice is a 2006 American crime drama film about two Miami police detectives, Crockett and Tubbs, who go undercover to fight drug trafficking operations. The film is a loose adaptation of the 1980s TV series of the same name, written, produced, and directed by Michael Mann. The film stars Jamie Foxx as Tubbs and Colin Farrell as Crockett, as well as Chinese actress Gong Li as Isabella.



While working an undercover prostitute sting operation to arrest a pimp named Neptune, Miami-Dade Police detectives James "Sonny" Crockett and Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs receive a frantic phone call from their former informant Alonzo Stevens (John Hawkes). Stevens reveals that he is planning to leave town, and, believing his wife Leonetta to be in immediate danger, asks Rico to check on her. Crockett learns that Stevens was working as an informant for the FBI but has been compromised. Crockett and Tubbs quickly contact the FBI Special Agent in Charge John Fujima (Ciarán Hinds) and warn him about Stevens' safety. Tracking down Stevens through a vehicle transponder and aerial surveillance, Crockett and Tubbs stop him along I-95. Stevens reveals that a Colombian cartel knew that Russian undercovers were working with the FBI from the start and had threatened that Leonetta would be murdered via a C-4 necklace bomb if he did not confess. Rico tells Alonzo that he does not have to go home. Having learned her fate, Stevens, in a state of grief, commits suicide by walking in front of an oncoming semi truck.

En route to the murder scene, Sonny and Rico receive a call from Lt. Castillo (Barry Shabaka Henley) and are instructed to stay away. He tells them to meet him downtown, where they are introduced to John Fujima, head of the Florida Joint Inter-Agency Task Force between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the FBI. An angry Crockett and Tubbs berate Fujima for the errors committed and inquire as to why the MPD were not involved. Fujima reveals that the Colombian group is highly sophisticated and run by Jose Yero (John Ortiz), initially thought to be the cartel's leader. Fujima enlists Crockett and Tubbs, making them Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force deputies, to help, and they continue the investigation by looking into "go-fast boats" coming from the Caribbean, delivering loads of narcotics from the Colombians. They then use their Miami informant contacts to set up a meet and greet with the cartel.

Posing as drug smugglers "Sonny Burnett" and "Rico Cooper", the two offer their services to Yero. They find out Yero is the cartel's security and intel man. After a high tension meeting they pass screening and are introduced to Archangel de Jesus Montoya (Luis Tosar), kingpin of drug trafficking in South Florida. In the course of their investigation, Crockett and Tubbs learn that the cartel is using the Aryan Brotherhood gang to distribute drugs, and is supplying them with state-of-the-art weaponry. Crockett is also drawn to Montoya's financial advisor and lover Isabella (Gong Li), and the two begin a secret romance on the side. Tubbs begins to worry that Crockett may be getting too deeply involved in his undercover role and fears for the safety of the team. Those fears are soon realized as Trudy (Naomie Harris), the unit's intelligence agent, is kidnapped by the Aryan Brotherhood gang, and her life is threatened with a bomb the same way Leonetta's was unless the loads Crockett and Tubbs were delivering are directly handed over to the AB. With the help of Lt. Castillo the unit triangulates Trudy's location to a mobile home in a trailer park and performs a rescue, but she is critically injured in the aftermath when Tubbs fails to clear her in time from the mobile home and the bomb explodes. Soon afterwards, Crockett and Tubbs face off against Montoya's number two man Jose Yero, his men, and the Aryan gang at the port of Miami.

After the face-off, Crockett begins to call in backup. When Isabella sees his police shield and sees him using the radio, she comes to the realization that he is undercover. Feeling betrayed and in rage, she demands that Crockett tell her who he really is. Shortly after the gunfight, Crockett takes her to a police safehouse and tells her she will have to leave the country and return to her home in Cuba. As Crockett and Isabella stare at each other while Isabella is on a boat slowly drifting off, Crockett takes one last glance, walks away, and drives off. Meanwhile, Tubbs is in the hospital holding Trudy's hand as she grasps his, signifying that she is recovering from her coma. Isabella is shown again on the boat crying, while Crockett is headed into the entrance of the hospital to visit Trudy.


  • Colin Farrell as Detective James "Sonny" Crockett: A Miami-Dade police detective who goes undercover to stop a drug operation.
  • Jamie Foxx as Detective Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs: A Miami-Dade police detective who goes undercover with his partner, Crockett, to fight drug trafficking operations.
  • Gong Li as Isabella: Financial advisor to Montoya who falls in love with Sonny Crockett.
  • Luis Tosar as Arcangel de Jesus Montoya: A South American drug lord.
  • Naomie Harris as Detective Trudy Joplin: An intelligence agent who is captured by a Neo-Nazi gang as a ransom for a drug deal. In a relationship with Ricardo Tubbs.
  • John Ortiz as Jose Yero: Montoya's second-in-command who handles Montoya's business on the North American front, as well as his security and communications.
  • Elizabeth Rodriguez as Detective Gina Calabrese
  • Justin Theroux as Detective Larry Zito
  • Ciarán Hinds as FBI Agent John Fujima
  • Barry Shabaka Henley as Lieutenant Martin Castillo
  • Domenick Lombardozzi as Detective Stan Switek
  • Isaach De Bankolé as Neptune
  • John Hawkes as Alonzo Stevens
  • Tom Towles as Coleman
  • Eddie Marsan as Nicholas



Jamie Foxx brought up the idea of a Miami Vice film to Michael Mann during a party for Ali. This led Michael Mann to revisit the series he helped create.[3]

Like Collateral, which also starred Foxx, most of the film was shot with the Thomson Viper Filmstream Camera, while Super 35 was used for high-speed and underwater shots. Cinematographer Dion Beebe was also the cinematographer of Collateral.[4]

The suits that Jamie Foxx wore in the film were designed by famous fashion designer Ozwald Boateng. He had worked with Jamie Foxx in the past and caught Mann's eye, who then asked him to work on the film.[5] Michael Kaplan was responsible for the costume design overall.


The film, shot on location in the Caribbean, Uruguay (the seaside resort Atlántida[6], the old building of the Carrasco International Airport, the "Rambla" and the Old City of Montevideo), Paraguay (Ciudad del Este)[7] and South Florida, lost seven days of filming to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.[8] The delays led to a budget of what some insiders claimed to be over $150 million, though Universal Pictures says it cost $135 million.[2] Several crew members criticized Mann's decisions during production, which featured sudden script changes, filming in unsafe weather conditions, and choosing locations that "even the police avoid, drafting gang members to work as security".[2]

Foxx was also characterized as unpleasant to work with. Foxx refused to fly commercially, forcing Universal to give him a private jet. Foxx would not participate in scenes on boats or planes. After gunshots were fired on set in the Dominican Republic on October 24, 2005, Foxx packed up and refused to return; this forced Mann to re-write the ending of the film, an ending that some crew members characterized as less dramatic than the original.[2] Foxx, who won an Academy Award after signing to do Miami Vice, was also reputed to complain about co-star Farrell's larger salary, something Foxx felt did not reflect his new status as an Oscar winner. Foxx received an increase in salary to match Farrell's. It was also reported that Foxx demanded top billing after winning an Oscar.[2]

Mann wanted a film that was as real as it was stylish and even put Colin Farrell in jeopardy by bringing him along (with real FBI drug squads) to drug busts so Farrell could build up the character of Crockett even more. It was later revealed that these busts were faked by Mann.[9]

Sal Magluta, the drug trafficker identified by Tubbs running Go-Fast boats in the opening scenes of the film, is in fact one of Miami's real-life reputed "Cocaine Cowboys" and is currently serving a life sentence for money laundering.[citation needed]

Although Mann set out to craft entirely new characters and story, there were still very subtle references to the television show on which it is based. The plot shares many elements with the episode "Smuggler's Blues":[citation needed]

  • In the film, Tubbs tells drug-dealing Yero: "We can close each others' eyes real fast, but then nobody's gonna make no money." This is a nod to a line in the episode "Smugglers Blues" in which the drug-dealing Grossero tells Tubbs: "You and I are businessmen. We have business to look forward to which we will never see if we close each other's eyes."[citation needed]
  • In that same episode, Sonny says: "Why is he donating to the good and the welfare?" In the film, Rico asks the same thing while inside of Yero's disco.[citation needed]
  • Both the episode and the film include a sub-plot where Trudy is held hostage in a trailer which is rigged with explosives.[citation needed]

The first teaser trailer to appear for the film featured the Linkin Park/Jay-Z song "Numb/Encore". This trailer was attached to the release of King Kong in theaters. For several months before its release, the official web site hosted the first teaser trailer for download as a High-Definition WMV download, which is still available at the official site.[citation needed]


Several companies cross-advertised with Miami Vice or had products showcased in them. These companies included IWC,[10][11] Adam Airplanes, Bacardi, Motorola, Nokia, BMW, Donzi, MTI (Marine Technology, Inc.), Benelli, and Ferrari among others[12]

Their products are seen throughout the film:

  • Crockett (Colin Farrell) is seen ordering and drinking a "Bacardi Mojito" from the bartender in the very first scene of the film and drinks a couple throughout the remainder of the film.
  • Zito uses a Nokia video phone to spy on his partner, Switek, as he goes undercover to bust prostitutes inside of The Mansion nightclub.
  • Crockett and Tubbs use a Motorola Rugged Notebook at their initial meeting with Martin Castillo and James Fujima
  • The three boats in the drug running scene are a Donzi 38 ZF Daytona, a Donzi 38 ZR, and a Donzi 43 ZR.
  • Tubbs uses a Benelli M4 Super 90 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun at the end of the film.
  • Crockett's Boat (white paint and labeled "Mojo") is a MTI (Marine Technology Inc.) 40 Series with two Mercury 575 hp Engines fitted. 160 mph (260 km/h). In the correct sense it is an Offshore Catamaran.
  • The (first) distinctive plane featured in the film is the Adam A500. There is another characteristic plane in the film, a Piaggio P180 Avanti, which brings Isabella at the Barranquilla airport, Colombia.
  • Like in the original TV series, Crockett and Tubbs drive around in a Ferrari. The model in the film is a Ferrari F430. Later in the film, they drive a white BMW 645i Coupe, a possible tribute to a white Mercedes Benz they had during the first season.


The original Miami Vice television series composer, Jan Hammer, is completely absent from the film and soundtrack. Michael Mann did not want to use the theme song in the film.[13] Furthermore Mann didn’t want any association with the TV series at the behest of Universal executives.[13] Fans of the series e-mailed Universal thousands of letters to include the theme, but ultimately Mann said no.[13] As Hammer put it: "I was completely surprised they didn’t have a remake of it. I think it’s a matter of being too cool for school."[13]

Phil Collins' famous hit "In the Air Tonight", which was featured in the debut episode of the television series, is featured in the original film as a cover done by Miami-based rock band Nonpoint.[14] during the closing credits and on the soundtrack. Mann's "Director's Edit" released on DVD places the song in the film just prior to the climactic gun battle as suggested by members of the production crew during post-production.[15]

  1. Nonpoint - "In the Air Tonight"
  2. Moby featuring Patti LaBelle - "One of These Mornings"
  3. Mogwai - "We're No Here"
  4. Nina Simone - "Sinnerman (Felix da Housecat's Heavenly House Mix)"
  5. Mogwai - "Auto Rock"
  6. Manzanita - "Arranca"
  7. India.Arie - "Ready for Love"
  8. Goldfrapp - "Strict Machine"
  9. Emilio Estefan - "Pennies in My Pocket"
  10. King Britt - "New World in My View"
  11. Blue Foundation - "Sweep"
  12. Moby - "Anthem"
  13. Freaky Chakra - "Blacklight Fantasy"
  14. John Murphy - "Mercado Nuevo"
  15. John Murphy - "Who Are You"
  16. King Britt & Tim Motzer - "Ramblas"
  17. Klaus Badelt & Mark Batson - "A-500"

The RZA was supposed to contribute to the film's score but dropped out for unknown reasons.[16][17] Organized Noise jumped onboard instead.

The music included on the soundtrack has several differences from what was featured in the film:[citation needed]

  • Of the first four songs featured in the film's first sequence inside The Mansion nightclub, three are on the soundtrack and Nina Simone's "Sinnerman" is the only song to be featured in its original form. Jay-Z and Linkin Park's "Numb/Encore" is not found on the soundtrack despite being heavily used to promote the film (it was featured in both of the film's trailers) and the fact that it's the first song in the film. Furthermore, the version of Goldfrapp's "Strict Machine" is the "We Are Glitter" remix of the song, and both it and Funky Chakra's "Blacklight Fantasy" are edits from Sasha's mix album Fundacion NYC. Neither version appears on the soundtrack.
  • Clips of two Audioslave songs, "Wide Awake" and "Shape of Things to Come", are featured in the film, but the songs do not appear on the soundtrack. This was possibly because the two songs were brand new and were set to be featured on Audioslave's new album Revelations, which had a release date close to the film.
  • The version of Moby's "Anthem" on the soundtrack does not appear in the film. Instead, prominent placement is given to Moby's "Cinematic Version" of the song.
  • King Britt's "New World in My View" is featured in the film but is missing the spoken-word lyrics of Sister Gertrude. The song plays instrumentally in the background at one point in the film.


Theatrical run

Miami Vice opened at No. 1 in the United States, knocking Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest out of the number one position at the box office that weekend, after Pirates led the box office for almost a full month.[18] In its opening weekend, the film grossed over $25.7 million at 3,021 theaters nationwide, with an average gross of $8,515 per theater.[19] The film would go on to earn $63.5 million domestically.[19] Miami Vice would fare better internationally. The films aired in 77 countries overseas, grossing $100,344,039 in its international run.[20] Overall the film grossed $164 million worldwide[19] helping to further surpass the reported $135 million budget.

The film stands as one of Michael Mann's top three most financially successful films, next to Heat and Collateral.[21]

Home release

Miami Vice was released to DVD on December 12, 2006. It contained many extra features the theatrical version did not include an extended cut of the film itself. It is one of the first HD DVD/DVD combo discs to be released by Universal Studios. Miami Vice's HD-DVD was one of the best selling DVDs of 2006.[22] The DVD debuted in third place (behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Superman Returns) and managed to sell over a million copies (equivalent to $7.91 million) in its first week alone.[23] As of February 11, 2007, Miami Vice had grossed over $36.45 million in rentals.[24]

On August 26, 2008, Universal Studios released Miami Vice on Blu-ray.[25][26]

Critical reception

Response to Miami Vice has been split. On Metacritic it holds a 65 "Generally Favorable Reviews",[27] while on Rotten Tomatoes it holds a 48% "rotten" rating.[28] However, it also holds a markedly higher 67% "fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes' Cream of the Crop reviewers.[29]

Miami Vice received positive notices from major publications including Rolling Stone,[30] Empire,[31] Variety,[32] Newsweek,[33] New York,[34] The Village Voice,[35] The Boston Globe,[36] Entertainment Weekly,[37] and film critic Richard Roeper on the television program Ebert & Roeper.[38] New York Times critic Manohla Dargis declared it "glorious entertainment" in her year-end wrap-up and praised its innovative use of digital photography.[39]

The film received negative reviews from The Washington Post[40] and the Los Angeles Times, focusing in part on comparisons with the 1980s series and on the plot.[41][dead link]

It was included in the top ten of 2006 by Scott Foundas (LA Weekly) at #7, and by Manohla Dargis at #8.[42][dead link] Additionally, in November 2009, the critics of Time Out New York chose Miami Vice as #35 of the fifty best films of the decade, saying:

Writer-director Michael Mann brilliantly rethinks the seminal 1980s TV series on which he made his name. The hi-def videography gives a tactile, scorching sense of the characters’ surroundings, and Colin Farrell and Gong Li’s doomed love affair bears the full tragic brunt of Mann’s mesmerizing on-the-fly narrative.[43]


  1. ^ a b "Miami Vice". Box Office Mojo. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Fleeing the Scene". Slate ( 2006-07-13. 
  3. ^ "Black Entertainment | Black News | Urban News |Hip Hop News". 2006-07-28. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  4. ^ "Miami Vice in HD". 2006-05-23. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  5. ^ "Eurweb". 2006-06-19. Archived from the original on April 21, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  6. ^ Shooting locations in Uruguay
  7. ^ Shooting Locations for Vice
  8. ^ Snyder, Gabriel (2006-01-15). "'Vice' feels the squeeze: Timing a little off for Mann's latest project". Variety. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  9. ^ See Miami Vice DVD featurette
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Events: Miami Vice". IWC. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  12. ^ "Miami Vice's Brand Affiliations". 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  13. ^ a b c d Friedman, Roger (2006-07-25). "Miami Vice Theme: Axed, but Alive". Fox News.,2933,205416,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  14. ^ Breznican, Anthony (2006-07-26). "'Miami Vice' makes series of changes". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  15. ^ Flerman, Daniel (3006-07-21). "Miami Heat". Entertainment Weekly.,,1217272,00.html. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  16. ^ "The United States Chess Federation - Interview with RZA". 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  17. ^ [dead link] "Miami Vice". ignore Magazine.[dead link]. Retrieved 2009-04-11. [dead link]
  18. ^ Klatell, James M. (2006-07-30). "'Miami Vice' Sinks 'Pirates'". CBS News. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  19. ^ a b c "Miami Vice (2006)". boxofficemojo. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  20. ^ "Miami Vice Foreign Totals". boxofficemojo. 2007-12-16. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  21. ^ "Michael Mann - Box Office Data Movie Director". Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  22. ^ "Universal Planning More Than 100 HD DVDs". 2007-01-25. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  23. ^ C.S. Strowbridge (2006-12-16). "10 Million People Purchase Pirate DVDs This Week". The Numbers News. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  24. ^ "Miami Vice (2006) - DVD / Home Video Rentals". BoxOfficeMojo. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  25. ^ Gibbs, Tom (2008-08-25). "Miami Vice, Blu-ray (2008, Original release 2006)". Audiophile Audition. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  26. ^ "Miami Vice (Unrated Director's Edition) Blu-ray (2006)". 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  27. ^ "Miami Vice (2006): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  28. ^ "Miami Vice (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  29. ^ "Miami Vice (2006)". 
  30. ^ Travers, Peter (2006-07-20). "Miami Vice: Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  31. ^ Braund, Simon. "Review of Miami Vice". Empire Reviews Central. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  32. ^ Lowry, Brian (2006-07-23). "Miami Vice". Variety. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  33. ^ Ansen, David (2006-07-31). "Lukewarm Waters". Newsweek Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  34. ^ Edelstein, David (2006-07-24). "Sea, Sun, and Hungry Sex". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  35. ^ Foundas, Scott (2006-07-18). "Undercover of the Night". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  36. ^ Morris, Wesley (2006-07-28). "'Vice' Grip". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  37. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (2006-07-26). "Miami Vice (2006)". Entertainment Weekly.,,1219232,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  38. ^ "Miami Vice Review". At the Movies. 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-01. [dead link]
  39. ^ Dargis, Manohla (2006-12-24). "Not for the Faint of Heart or Lazy of Thought". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  40. ^ Hunter, Stephen (2006-07-28). "'Miami Vice': Way Cool Then, Now Not So Hot". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  41. ^ Turan, Kenneth (2006-07-28). "'Miami Vice'". Los Angeles Times.,0,4539261.story. Retrieved 2009-01-01. [dead link]
  42. ^ "Metacritic 2008 Film Critic Top Ten Lists 2006". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-06-20. [dead link]
  43. ^ The TONY top 50 movies of the decade. Time Out New York. Nov 26–Dec 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 

External links


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