Michael Berger’s review published on Letterboxd:
The latest in a growing line of So Bad It’s Good! (ineptastic? Pathetafun? Entertaint? Others?) films that have seen a resurgence in recent years when viewed under different circumstances is Miami Connection. Proudly joining Troll 2, The Room, Manos: The Hands of Fate, Plan 9 from Outer Space and Samurai Cop it begs the age old question: is it really in good taste to laugh at and enjoy a film based on it’s failures and not it’s benefits? Do the filmmakers smile for the publicity the film gets but are secretly furious their artistic masterpiece is being laughed at and ridiculed? Is a kiss with a fist really better than none?
I think in this case everybody wins. Because writer/producer/star Y.K. Kim isn’t the one being exploited here. He’s the one that’s out right in front leading the cause and beaming proudly that the film is finally getting the theatrical release he always wanted it to have. Not to mention he’s probably at least made a sizeable dent in the massive debt the film plunged him into back in 1987. This one has more of a Troll 2-ey feel to it receptionwise because like Troll 2 this was never conceived as some kind of life’s work. Like Troll 2 never really derailed the career of it’s director Claudio Fragasso (he continued to work steadily) Y.K. Kim was never a movie star. He never really intended to be one. A chance encounter with eventual director Park Woo-sang on a Korean talk show sparked his interest and together they slapped together this shitpile film. Does failure hurt? Of course it does, but I don’t think Kim really had enough heart behind the project enough to be crushed by it. Probably the financial end and the hit to his ego would be the most painful aspects to go off of. But the good news at least is that Kim was already a bit of an Orlando, Florida legend. The cool local karate instructor everybody knew. He’s to this as George Hardy is to Troll 2. A guy finally getting to own his chance in the spotlight. For all the wrong reasons, yeah sure. But hey, if you’re suddenly thrust into the social consciousness why not just ride the lightning, right?
The movie itself is fantastic. A real classy affair from top to bottom. Award winning cinematography from Roger Deakins. Orchestrative score by Maurice Jarre. Shot on location in Istanbul, Constantinople, Tahiti, Rome, Greece, Bangladesh, Vatican City and Orlando (but oddly enough not in Miami) with supporting roles from then unknown Ben Affleck, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, it tells the tale of an astrophysicist (Affleck) using an the assumption that all interactions between particles in an accretion flow are electromagnetically mediated, who then learns he can show that the time to establish equipartition between ions and electrons is shorter than the characteristic accretion time. Consequently, two-temperature fits to the spectra of accreting objects are unphysical, and models in which significant thermal energy is carried across the event horizon are effectively ruled out. When showing his findings to president Crackleberry (Johnson) it is determined that the knowledge is far too valuable to let slip into the wrong hands. Thus, forcing Crackleberry to call in the help of expert data translators Apache Camel (Moore) and Stump Puller (Pitt) and together they set out to transform the data into a noxious gas that can be simply breathed in by anyone wanting to learn it. It swept the 59th annual Academy Awards winning best picture, actor, director, actress, song and foreign short (Kim) and went on to become immortalized as Huff! On Ice! (ironically starring Julianne Hough).
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m just fucking with you. The movie is actually some incoherent mess about ninjas in pop rock bands who duke it out constantly over paying gigs and cocaine deals. It’s as dumb as you think it is. But it’s good cheese. Like deli cheese. The songs (particularly Friends Forever!) really sound like they belong on a Kids Bop album and not in an R-Rated ninja movie. In fact, the entire thing feels like it was supposed to be made for small children. Except random tits and cursing and decapitations were thrown in.
So it’s fun! It’s funny! And it has the added advantage of that great first film innocence that makes it feel fresh and have it’s own unique voice and style even 28 years after it was first made. Ruling out technicalities, it’s a solidly entertaining film. I give it 2 big toes up! Then I’ll use those toes to open a can of beer, pour it on my own head and then change the channel on the remote! (wow…the movie really rubbed off on me)