Miami Connection (NR)

Action/Adventure 120 min. November 2, 2012
By Alan Scherstuhl
Can we as a culture at last retire the idea that a movie can be so "bad" that it's good? I ask this still pleasurably punch-drunk by Miami Connection, a rediscovered junkster piece of uncut '80s electro-pop chop-socky ridiculousness that is exactly what Purple Rain would have been if the Revolution traded Prince and much of their talent for black belts in tae kwon do and a commitment to bringing a message of peace to the world in between brutal martial arts street battles with a rival band of Orlando honkies. Absurd, yes, but director Richard Park and his game and guileless cast have the highest of spirits, and the nonsense bubbles like a bottle uncorked. Relish the loose, goofy dialogue, seemingly improvised, and the music, all anxious, rubbery bass snakes beneath fat slabs of synth. And the lyrics, especially in the hard rock, non–Dragon Sound tunes that underscore scenes of Miami Connection's thin Miami connection, Dade County’s evil ninja motorcycle gang. “Bikers by day, ninjas by night!” a hard-working hair-rocker yowls. What do those ninja bikers do? Why, "Steal all your co-caine/Along with your liiife!" Also choice are the fights, choreographed (by Young Moon Kwon) with imaginative elan. Each is appealingly sloppy, continually surprising, and never a bit believable—which is a serious clue as to why the very idea of "so bad it's good" should have been chucked way back before Dragon Sound's hexagonal digital drums went out of style: This movie has no interest in being "good" in that drab, competent Hollywood way. Instead, it's going all in on awesome, and on its way, there it kicks every ass it meets.
Y.K. Kim, Woo-sang Park Y.K. Kim, Vincent Hirsch, Joseph Diamond, Maurice Smith, Angelo Janotti, Kathy Collier, William Eagle, Si Y Jo, Woo-sang Park, William P. Young Joseph Diamond, Y.K. Kim Y.K. Kim Drafthouse Films

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