5 July 2011

Which Is Better?


... “It wasn't as good as the book” ...




...One simple phrase that causes me nothing but grievance.
 There's a reason why people say it, as well. What they really mean is: 'having read the book, my version of the film would be different'. Well, fuck you! Climb the Hollywood ladder and go make your own fucking version, if that's what you want to see. A thousand people will read the same book and all have a different, full length film for it in their individually stupid, annoying heads. When you go to the movies, you're not paying to see the book version on screen in a word for word literal translation. What you're doing is paying to see that directors specific interpretation of the original source material.

Back in 2006, a film came out which suffered the same unjust abuse as the sort mentioned above. Unlike above however, this film was not based on a book but rather a television series; the unrecognised masterpiece that is Miami Vice was released into cinemas and The Morons were not happy. Who gives a fuck if it doesn't star Don “Pissing” Johnson and is not set in the tacky fucking 80's (officialy the worst decade of all time not to be involved in a world war). Instead, what the morons got was a masterfully crafted, beautifully shot, and well judged adult thriller which stupidly aimed itself at an audience with half a brain.

I guess what the retarded fans wanted was a buddy movie like Starsky and Hutch. Two cops who have never met each other, but have differing opinions, are partnered up and forced to solve some drug case which they bicker their way through. What a jolly time we'd have had watching that kind of film again, and how we would have wept when at the end, the two men realise that they have a mutual respect for each other and, bless 'em, become friends. I imagine in that craptastic version, one of them would have been a little 'uptight' and the other a bit of a 'loose wire'.

What the film actually is, is something that (shock! Horror!) dares to be different, and breaks that above formula in pretty much every way possible. When we meet the now much-more-interesting Crockett and Tubbs, they've been working with each other for years. In fact, the whole point in their relationship is that they trust each other implicitly. They believe in each other one-hundred percent and even if they don't entirely agree with a decision one might want to make, the pair know they need to keep the faith that everything is under control. I imagine that's how things would have to be when working so closely undercover with someone, as opposed to the pair arguing like a married couple who can't agree on whether to try out anal sex or fisting.

It was also pointed out that in this version, Crockett and Tubbs were played in a less charismatic way; I fail to see the criticism. This is a realistic film; it might take us slightly out of the moment if half way through a drugs bust, Colin Farrell turned and gave the camera a knowing, shit-eating grin. Rather than camping it up like a couple of gimps, what Farrell and Fox do instead is exude an air of pure coolness. They think their situation through and converse with each other almost telepathically rather than think out loud their every thought like some sort of buttfucking farmboy simpletons.

And whilst we're on the subject of charisma, the original two were hardly a pair of Jack Nicholsons. The fact that in the series, each episode had to have some sort of 'special guest' like Gene Simmons and Phil Collins to stop you slipping into a coma is surely enough to invalidate their argument against the film. What did they want?! Did the fans really want this realistic version to include a drug deal scene between Elton John and a re-animated Jade Goody? If Phil Collins is referred to as a “special” guest, I can only assume that it means he's retarded or that the shows regulars are pretty fucking dull.

I'm not saying the television series is bad, mainly because I've never seen a complete episode of it. What I am saying though, is that maybe the close minded pricks should go into a film and take it for what it is. Don't judge what you're about to see until you've seen it and then don't judge it for not being the film you wanted it to be. As an impartial audience member who couldn't give a toss about the series, I thought the film is great and deserves to be mentioned in the same vein as similarly themed films such as Donnie Brasco and The Departed.

What director Michael Mann chose to do was update the story to a more contemporary period making it more in-keeping with the tones of most of the other films in his back catalogue. Perhaps Mann didn't give the fans the film they wanted, but who cares? He still gave them an amazing, original genre movie that tried its hardest (and succeeded) in being as far from cliched as possible. It also contains a few action scenes which class as the best shoot-outs since Heat, which means that Miami Vice has arguably the second best shoot-out scene of all time. The Morons still have their show if that's what they want- meanwhile the rest of us can enjoy this as well. The two can exist in the same universe and it doesn't have to be a competition as to which is better.

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