MIAMI CONNECTION (1986)
BRIAN: So as far as I understood the plot, a band called Dragon Sound is made up of a group of 40-year-old college students who are also orphans and there’s a girl in the band who is the girlfriend of the tallest member of the band but also the sister of Miami’s biggest drug dealer who wants to destroy Dragon Sound because Dragon Sound took over the house band gig at a club and the other band wants them dead for it for some reason and the drug dealer brother is also in league with a gang of motorcycle ninjas who are smuggling “stupid cocaine” from… Japan(?) and I’m not entirely sure why they’re after Dragon Sound and the drummer of Dragon Sound finds his lost father twice.
BRAD: Yeah. That pretty much sums it all up.
Although if memory serves, it was the half Korean, half-“Black-American” keyboardist not the drummer. The drummer was the Jewish guy who wanted Dragon Sound to travel to all the other countries that the members of Dragon Sound have heritage from. Although if they are orphans, how exactly do they know their nationalities?
Was that bearded guy Miami’s biggest drug dealer or was he also from Orlando? Because Orlando isn’t remotely close to Miami, so why was he even bothering with his sister so much. Wait, he did own that very dank and dark gym right? So maybe he had a second office in Orlando.
Miami? Dragon Sound? Miami Dragon Sound Machine!
BRIAN: Oh right the keyboardist was the Israeli. Like it matters. They knew their nationalities because the crates they were airdropped to the orphanage in had stamps on them.
You know, I totally forgot that bearded guy (one of like six bearded guys) had that rathole gym in Orlando that was his evil lair. Why couldn’t that gym have been in Miami too?
Good deduction! It appears the movie was based on the life of Gloria Estefan. “Friends for Eternity” is just as catchy as “Rhythym Is Gonna Get You.”
BRAD: No! The Israeli WAS the drummer!
So I’m still baffled that these 4 male orphans became friends, all went to the same college, live together in the same house, all play in the same band AND all are experts in Tae Kwon Do. That’s a helluva LOT in common. Thats the laziest screenwriting I ever seen. And besides the band and the martial arts the other factors are meaningless. They are only orphans for the lost and found Black-American father subplot. Them being 40-something college students was completely and utterly pointless.
But me complaining about what’s pointless in this film is a moot point. About 89% of the film’s scenes are completely nonsensical and irrelevant. Remember the Asian small cafe owner who beat up the dine N dashers? The movie starts with the gang of ninjas stealing the drugs that amounted to nothing other than showing us that ninjas were in the film and it somewhat takes place in Miami.
What pointless scene did you like better, Brian? Dragon Sound’s slow drive on the beach or when the leader of the Miami Ninjas went hanging out with the biker gang?
BRIAN: Hahaha, are you sure he wasn’t the harp player?
I guess they were all friends in the orphanage and decided to bond through mutual interests, such as music and martial arts. I guess none of them were ever chosen for adoption, which is totally understandable.
Really, besides adding some awesome songs to the soundtrack, does them being in a band really matter? The rival band wanting them dead is senseless, and could have just been the drug dealers wanting them dead.
Yeah the cafe owner beating up the hooligans was completely irrelevant. Maybe he was just a friend of the director and wanted to showcase his average Tae Kwon Do skills.
That’s a tough call. On one hand, the beach scene had our mustachioed mulleted Italian hero being beaten up by bikini babes, but the biker gang scene was full of horrible boobs. I think I’d have to go with the biker gang, because at least the beach scene was about our protagonists hanging out together, but the ninja leader partying with the bikers truly had no meaning.
This is hilarious:
BRAD: But then the Black-American finds his dad, which means he’s not an orphan anymore! Add to the fact that he knew he had a living dad which means he was lying about being an orphan this whole time! What an asshole!
I’m still shocked that the songs were that decent. “Against The Ninja” is easily one of the best songs played by a movie band since Eddie and the Cruisers and The Cherrybombs from Howard the Duck. Even the sissy Friends song was stuck in my head for a few days and truth be told I didn’t much care.
Can we discuss the ninjas a little bit more? Like how they were awful ninjas in that they rode motorcycles. The loudest mode of transportation. Also they were dressed as ninjas riding the motorcycles so everyone who saw them, saw they were ninjas. If they drove a sports car, for instance, they’d have a better cover as ninjas.
BRIAN: Well I guess he was an orphan at age 9 because his mom died and his dad shook the scene and he didn’t have any other relatives, so he was sent to the orphanage and hooked up with these douches.
Yeah they’re very catchy, although I don’t remember the lyrics aside from “Against the ninjaaaaaaaaaa!” and “Friends forever, we love leather.” I was too focused on Y.K. Kim and the worst fake guitar playing ever put to film.
Yeah motorcycles are the least-stealth way to get around. And most of them were clumsy choppers instead of the speedier crotch rockets. But I guess their biker gang allies probably frowned upon crotch rockets. They probably should have just all piled into a black van.
Let’s talk about the ending. A few questions come up:
1. Where does Mr. Mustache go? I know he was beaten up by the gym gang earlier but he seemed fine. Why didn’t he partake in the final battle?
2. How are trained ninjas defeated by guys who are running around yelling?
3. How does Maurice not die from being eviscerated?
BRAD: I’m trying hard to even remember mustache guy getting beaten up by the gym gang so I can’t even fathom why he was absent from the finale, however, piss-poor screenwriting aside, I’m sure the ninjas wanted nothing to do with that guy especially in a final battle. Cripes, the ninjas were barely good enough to fight 2.5 Tae Kwon Do experts.
I think Maurice was just scratched but his terrible acting made it seem like he was basically cut in half. Considering how horrible the ninjas were I may be right.
BRIAN: So now that the ninjas and the rival band and the drug lords are defeated, Dragon Sound can now take over as the leading musical ninja drug lord orphans in the greater Miami/Orlando area. My only regret is that they didn’t also fight the evil head of the orphanage.
This movie is technically inept and just barely achieves so bad it’s good status because nothing makes sense whatsoever. But the characters are so ridiculous and the music is phenomenal. Definitely watch with your friends, forever.
Score: 6 letters that your estranged father has been found (out of 10)
BRAD: Did we mention how this film was made in 1986 and the awesome Alamo Drafthouse Cinema group who is now a distributor bought the original negative on ebay for $50 (FIFTY DOLLARS, American) and released it last year. I hope they do more of this sort of thing. If only they can get Jerry Lewis to release The Day The Clown Cried.
Score: 4 inept ninjas (out of 10)