Alec Baldwin is a crazy crook in MIAMI BLUES
“He got your gun…your badge…and your teeth? You are a disgrace to the police force.”
A film that I’ve been a fan of for a long time is MIAMI BLUES (1990). It’s based on a novel by the great author Charles Willeford (Cockfighter) and directed by George Armitage who got his start in 1970s exploitation with films like Private Duty Nurses, Hit Man and Vigilante Force. In Miami Blues, Alec Baldwin stars as Frederick Frenger Jr, a criminal who, after being released from the joint, heads to Miami to “start over”. This guy is a total nut, even before he leaves the airport he steals luggage and then kills a Hare Krishna. “Junior” as he likes to be called begins a one man crime spree in the city and meets a young prostitute named Suzie (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who he begins a relationship with. Meanwhile, grizzled Miami cop Sgt. Hoke Mosely (Fred Ward) who investigates the death of the Hare Krishna, soon comes sniffing around Junior’s door.
What makes this movie so enjoyable and sets it apart from others is Alec Baldwin’s lead performance as Junior. He’s just excellent in the role giving the character a dangerous, unhinged, excitable quality. Jennifer Jason Leigh is equally good as his POLAR opposite Suzie, the sweet, airheaded college student/call girl who longs to have the perfect relationship and loves to cook things like pork chops and Vinegar Pie. The combination of Junior the outlaw, using his skills of impersonation (after lifting Mosely’s badge) while trying to to settle down with Suzie, into a normal, happy homelife is what gives the story its emotional depth. There’s also some very tense moments that will have you cringing, like the scene where Junior tries to sew his eyebrow back on after another robber drives his truck into him during a getaway at a quickie mart. Fred Ward (Southern Comfort, Remo Williams) adds his own comedic touch to the proceedings with his affable yet misunderstood policeman who wears dentures. MIAMI BLUES is an entertaining, often overlooked little crime-comedy gem that has got a nicely balanced amount of action, humor, romance and a finely acted/directed screenplay.