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Harrison Muller Jr.
Miami Cops is brilliant cinema. Bad dubbing. Dense, baffling, impenetrable plot. Over acting. (with the exception of Richard Roundtree) Dumbfounding editing. Which from there quickly devolves into something which emits a familiar and not very pleasant aroma which nonetheless tells bad film fans, "here lies treasure!"
The musical score is most enjoyable, a pleasant reminder of the best of late 70s urban contemporary instrumentals in the genre of Rose Royce. No matter that the film was made in 1989.
The plot is shamelessly crabbed from the period hit, Miami Vice. But the opening scenes at the wharf feature background hills with brown foliage and old northeastern US style water towers which you this isn't Miami. No, this is not the Magic City.
There's an interesting glimpse of a massive white monolithic building on the wharf which resembles the steam house located at the former Quonset Point (RI) Naval Air Station. An old power plant, perhaps? As with all good directors, he leaves unanswered, still: Heads-Up Alert for Urban Exlorers.
The Italian villains - aren't they all? - are interesting. They ship drugs in oil drums from Ischia. But Ischia is an island off the coast of Naples. Along with sister Island, Capri, neither are known as deepwater ports capable of berthing tankers. Yeah, I know. Picky picky.
One villain is a nervous middle-aged man who wears coat and tie and button down sweater. Is this subtle brilliance on part of the Director, to demonstrate the ever-cold 'Reptile Brained' nature of the criminal, as forensic clinicians call it? Artful directors never tip their hand, and this one surely doesn't. Your guess? As good as mine.
He also wears those tinted shades that all the 'psychoes' wear.
No matter. The 'nervous villain' croaks off real fast - Va Va Veem! -when he swerves to avoid something dull and his car plummets off a cliff and blows up real good.
Cars? Yep. This film has 'em. Mostly dusty, awful old Fiats of decrepit vintage which careen about the hills of Ischia to no great effect but they do remind us of how fortunate we are to have the cars we do today.
A magnificent scene depicts the manner in which the true villain 'behind the nervous sweater-man-reptile-brained-psycho-shaded villain' gets his - real good. Nope, won't spoil the fun. Let's just say that this masterful film artfully crossbreeds Shaft with Texas Chainsaw Massacre to whelp the film to its stunning, corkscrew-tailed, conclusion.
Paul Vincent Zecchino
Bad film critic
Manasota Key, Florida
30 May, 2010
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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