Movie Review: Miami Connection

A friend of mine introduced me to this movie. It’s another one of the increasing number of movies made decades earlier that are just getting a release. Though in this case it’s not because of some sort of controversial content. It’s basically one of the dime a dozen 80’s martial arts action movies that, had it been widely released back in the day, would hardly stand out against the masses of “terrible” movies that came out in the same genre around that time. It really is just elevated by the fact that it has been newly rediscovered and widely released in 2012.

Though I have to say I genuinely enjoyed it for what it is. I was never a believer in “so bad it’s good”. I either genuinely like something for the qualities it has or I don’t, no matter how intentional these qualities might have been. It’s the reason why I despise The Room, because all of its qualities suck and I don’t celebrate lack of quality. Miami Connection on the other hand does have a lot of unintentional bits in it that make it kinda charming. It’s an unintentionally hilarious movie with absolutely atrocious acting in it, saved only by some above average fighting choreography and the sheer amount of fights these guys get in. It’s also elevated by the preposterous story of a martial arts rock band who face animosity from two sides at once: A previous bar band who got replaced by the new one with the awesome name Dragon Sound wants their job back, and the female member of the new band – who is in a romantic relationship with the bass player of all people who, true to the stereotype, is the ugliest one in the band – just happens to be the sister of a gang leader who gets the job from the rivaling band.

Oh, and there’s also biker ninjas from Mars. Ok, the “from Mars” bit is a lie, but it flows right off the tongue and doesn’t sound out of place, right? Still, they’re biker ninjas and their gang is friends with the other gang tasked to kill the band. So once that gang predictably meets its end at the hands of 3 black belt Taekowndo fighters – the very same people who play in the band – we get some awesome ninja action as well. This is the kind of stuff that Black Dynamite made fun of, the ever escalating scale of ridiculousness.

It’s all sprinkled with this thick layer of charm, because you know full well that the guys who made this movie were in love with all the cheesy tropes of the genre. And they had this wonderful moral of the story put right into it with the song “Friends” that the band actually performs in the movie. Though speaking of the song, I’d say “Against the Ninja” is even better:

Still, the movie does have problems. Every other scene is entirely too long and entirely superfluous at that. It really seems like every plot relevant scene is followed by one that serves no purpose in the story and some of the scenes that do go on for way too long. Though there’s this hilarious scene that basically foreshadows the end of the movie perfectly, which consists of a Taekwondo training routine with awfully executed choreography, where half the hits don’t seem to connect and just about every single one of the reactions to a hit is delayed or otherwise off.

In the end, I’d say it’s an alright movie. Nothing too bad and the bad bits are overshadowed by the awesome stuff that’s in there. And I genuinely have to say that I had the dumbest grin on my face while watching it, interspersed with some genuine laughter during the unintentionally funny bits. So yeah, this gets a recommendation.

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