Wednesday, October 31, 2012

PFF: Miami Connection Review

Miami Connection at NYAFF - July 7th! from Drafthouse Films on Vimeo.


A group of Taekwondo black-belts in a New Wave band confront life issues while being menaced by a clan of Harley-riding, coke-dealing ninjas.

No, you don't understand. I toned it down for that description.

This was one of the two midnight screenings at the Festival and, I admit, I didn't go. Because I saw it a few months ago at Exhumed Films, but I'd been excited about it ever since I saw the trailer on Everything is Terrible! This movie has it all if you're a 12-year-old boy in the '80's. I'll try to walk through the plot, what plot there is.

Dragon Sound is a New Wave band composed of Taekwondo black-belts who are all orphans and sing songs about, what else, friendship and the power of Taekwondo to defeat the ninja. The ninja haven't shown up yet, they're just opposed to ninja in principle (which you know will lead to someone totally flipping out). The guitarist is dating the female singer. Her brother is the eponymous Miami connection for a clan of ninjas to deal their coke in Miami. He decides he doesn't want his sister associating with the guitarist and so Dragon Sound must be destroyed to keep the band from interfering in the drug trade.

That they're not involved in.

And know nothing about.

And aren't trying to stop.

The movie doesn't so much follow from there as continue to have things happen on screen. Nothing really ties to anything else, there are long scenes that do nothing (a trip to the pizza parlor, a trip to the beach), all culminating in an ultra-violent freak-out at the end.

In other words, pure deliciousness.

The movie is not good at all, but it is unrelentingly gleeful. That 12-year-old's enthusiasm for all that's "awesome" positively beams from the screen. It's hard not to tap into the joy that inspired this movie. There's very little ability on display--apart from the Taekwondo--but that didn't stop anyone involved from going whole-hog because they thought it would be fun.

The movie is actually gleeful, and that's rare in just about any medium. Drafthouse Films is giving it a proper theatrical release, so if you can see it in theaters, do. If you can't, make sure to watch it with friends. The constant WTF moments won't stick unless you have someone to share them with. Also, you want someone with you who, when you inevitably go, "If they can make a movie, I sure as hell can make a movie!" will reply, "Fuck yes!"

4/5 stars.

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