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Miami Blues Review

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Ex-con Fred chooses the wrong place for a fresh start and, with the aid of a loving hooker, reverts to being a one-man crime wave with a creaky cop on his tail.

★★★★★

Junior Frenger (Baldwin) is a recently released convict arriving in Miami to pursue his sociopath's version of the American Dream and tying up with fresh-faced hooker Susie (Leigh, playing dumb with great charm), who provides the sex, hot dinners and cosy suburban fantasy.

Fred Ward, who takes top-billing - presumably as he also serves as executive producer - is the toothless 'tec on Junior's tail whose pursuit is so ineffectual he loses his badge, gun, and dentures to the vicious punk. Thus equipped, Junior starts playing one-man Miami Vice with joyful abandon. Junior is a thoroughly indefensible, crazy sonovabitch, but as played here by snake/charmer Baldwin, one cannot help but admire the ease with which he dispatches a Hari Krishna pest, or the enthusiasm with which he confronts criminals.

Armitage, who scripts as well as directs, turns some cops and robbers conventions right on their heads to provide cheap thrills and some screamingly funny, very sick jokes. We are not talking high art or serious concept here: the highlights include Junior sewing his severed eyebrow back on and a hands-on collision with a meat-cleaver, but it's all good for laffs.

This is brutal, gory, at times downright sickening stuff, and somewhat twisted types are likely to laugh like a drain.

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