Frederick Frenger, Jr. (Baldwin), an amoral killer fresh out of prison, arrives in Miami with a dead man's wallet and an impractical, urge to remake his life along more prosaic lines. In the airport he is annoyed by a Hare Krishna, whose finger he breaks out of instinctive viciousness,
shocking the weak-hearted religious zealot to death. When Frenger checks into a hotel, he sends for a hooker. Pepper (Leigh), the naive young woman who answers the summons, harbors a secret wish to be an ordinary housewife. And the two see in each other an opportunity to live out their fantasies
of conventionality. It's not to be.
MIAMI BLUES toys with hard-boiled crime-film cliches and keeps the viewer constantly off balance. The plot is minimal, and no attempt is made to explain the psychology of the sociopath who murders casually and yet yearns for the security of middle-class life. But the movie's details are
fascinating and often surprising. Director Armitage, a Roger Corman protege, exposes a collection of idiosyncratic characters to Florida's hot sun and the effect is startling.
MIAMI BLUES suffers from a number of basic structural problems. Awkwardly paced, it alternates sharp, compact scenes with aimless ones that advance neither the plot nor develop the characters. Moreover, the characters never deviate far from their initial notes. In a slam-bang action picture in
which something is blown up every ten minutes, these would be minor complaints, but MIAMI BLUES's overt quirkiness promises more without delivering. Often on the verge of wearing out its welcome, MIAMI BLUES is nevertheless redeemed by its offbeat, sporadic, intense set pieces.
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- Released: 1990
- Rating: R
- Review: Frederick Frenger, Jr. (Baldwin), an amoral killer fresh out of prison, arrives in Miami with a dead man's wallet and an impractical, urge to remake his life along more prosaic lines. In the airport he is annoyed by a Hare Krishna, whose finger he breaks o… (more)