There were three things about this film that made me give it a shot. One was the genre/type of film it appeared to be. It looked to be an edgy crime thriller focusing on a conman and a hooker; that sounded like an interesting plot to me. The other two details that had my attention were the two stars, Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Jason Leigh. I’ve mainly enjoyed Baldwin in his comedic films, but he has range so I was interested to see what he would do here. Leigh is good in just about everything she’s in so if she’s in it I’m more likely to give it a look.
Unfortunately the things that work here are small compared to what doesn’t. Baldwin always gives a charismatic performance that’s interesting/entertaining to watch and he fits this type of role well. His character is a real scumbag criminal that is going to do what he wants no matter what and doesn’t give a damn about who he hurts or the potential consequences. Baldwin has the ability to be very smug and condescending which helps him be able to play this repulsive man in a convincing way. There are multiple scenes that do work well because of his energy and overall demeanor, he’s for sure the best thing this film has to offer.
The second best thing here is Fred Ward, who plays a police officer that’s life in impacted by Baldwin’s character. Ward is perfect for a role like this and he commits all the way to it. Not only is he convincing but as the film goes along you begin to like his character, partly because he’s the only one in the film that isn’t deplorably awful or just plain dumb.
I’m sad to say that Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character isn’t much of a role to be honest. I mean yes she’s in the film more than Fred Ward is, but Ward has a smarter role and makes more of the screen time he’s given. Leigh is an abundantly talented actress and I wish they’d written her character with more substance. She plays a very simple naïve woman who’s charmed by Baldwin and basically just plays the part of a doting housewife for the most part. I was hoping for a stronger character that had more influence in the story, but unfortunately her character simply isn’t smart enough to have much impact on what’s going on around her.
Alright so the cast and their performances aside, is this film well written? Does it have an engaging plot to follow? No and no. This film isn’t interesting or entertaining because of how simple and uneventful it is. Putting it simply, not much of any substance goes on. Yeah sure some things happen but it’s nothing all that thrilling at all. It’s such a shame too because you take a man fresh out of prison, a hooker, and a police officer and put them together in a crime thriller… you’d think that would be interesting right? Well it should be, but the script really lets this film down big time.
I suppose one could say that this is a story about trusting the wrong people or a cautionary tale for people that tend to want to only to see the good in people but even so, it’s still pretty damn stale. I’d love to see a film from the early 90’s starring Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Fred Ward… but this one sure ain’t it! Oh and this is just a note for anyone that likes men… the most exciting moment in this whole thing is probably when Alec Baldwin appears onscreen in nothing but black briefs. That scene gives this film a tad more clout with me, oh if only the whole film was as good as that.
Miami Blues has some moments of inspired acting, but the script is flat and largely uninteresting which makes most of this a bore. And it’s a huge mistake to have Jennifer Jason Leigh play a dimwitted nothing role such as this!
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