A group of martial artist college students, who are also in a rock band, fight drug smuggling ninja bikers, a gang, and a rival band. We learn about friendship, family, love, and sacrifice in this incredible film.
Somewhere in Miami, a group of armed guys carrying conspicuous boxes of drugs are ambushed by a team of motorcycle-riding ninjas, who slaughter everyone and take the drugs for themselves.
In the next scene we meet our heroes, the pop band Dragon Sound, performing at a club for their many fans. The band consists of Mark, the leader of the group, Tom, John, Jane, Jim, and Jack. Jane is a new addition to the band and is the girlfriend of John – a relationship that Jane’s brother Jeff doesn’t approve of. Geez, these names are really generic.
At the University of Central Florida, Jane takes John to a parking lot and introduces him to her brother Jeff, who promptly gives John a punch to the face. Conveniently, the other members of Dragon Sound just happened to be walking by, and they run to their friend’s aid. Jeff threatens them, saying they should stay away from Jane. “You don’t scare me at all,” says Mark.
After another musical number, Dragon Sound is ambushed by a large gang led by…a band they replaced? Okay. Another fight scene ensues, and despite being vastly outnumbered, Dragon Sound comes out on top.
Later, at the house where all the Dragon Sound members live, Jim anxiously waits for a letter with information on his long lost father. Sorry, Jim. Nothing tonight.
The next day, after spending the day at the beach and eating at Uncle Song’s restaurant, Dragon Sound finds a letter from Jeff: “Meet downtown. The railroad tracks.”
Both groups meet at the tracks, and Dragon Sound is once again vastly outnumbered, but the fight ends a draw. The police arrive and everyone runs away.
Later, Tom gets kidnapped by Jeff’s gang and Mark and co. mount a rescue; Jeff is killed and his buddy Yashito (leader of the motorcycle ninja gang) plans to get revenge.
The next day, Jim checks the mail and is overjoyed to find the letter he’s been waiting for: he finally found his father.
He takes Mark and John along for the ride to the airport, but they’re attacked by Yashito’s motorcycle ninjas! There’s a long fight scene in a nice-looking park; in the end, the ninjas are defeated, and Mark kills Yashito. Of course, this victory had its price – Jim is wounded and screams for a very long time.
Don’t worry, though! He gets taken to the hospital where he recovers and meets his father (who doesn’t look much older than he is).
At last, the fighting is finally over. The film leaves us with a screen of text:
What an amazing movie. I enjoyed it from start to finish. Admittedly, most of this enjoyment is ironic due to the lackluster acting and editing; despite these flaws, it was entertaining from start to finish and kept my attention the entire time. That’s more than I can say for other films with the same problems.
Miami Connection was made by people who didn’t know the first thing about filmmaking, but that didn’t stop them from making one. They hit the books and learned as they went along, and the fact that this, being their first film (and a feature-length one at that), was actually completed is a major accomplishment. Not only that, but from a technical standpoint, it looks and sounds GREAT for an amateur film.
One major issue with the film is how disjointed it feels, and how there are quite a few scenes that are pointless or could be trimmed down, like the beach scene. It’s great to see the members of Dragon Sound hanging out, but did we really have to see John and Jane kiss each other from THREE different angles?
Also, there was one too many factions of baddies to keep up with. You have the motorcycle ninja group, Jeff’s gang, and then the other band. I also don’t see how Yashito saw Dragon Sound as a threat to his drug operation. Does Dragon Sound have a history with his group? Or a reputation as vigilantes? As far as we see in the movie, they’re fairly reactionary – only fighting after provocation.
The characters were fairly standard, cookie-cutter, flawless heroes, but for this kind of movie, that’s fine. I do like how some of them had their own little storylines going on, like John and Jane’s Romeo and Juliet-esque love story, and Jim looking for his father. It’s a shame the other characters couldn’t have gotten as much screentime, especially Jack, who was the least memorable of the group.
I’m a big fan of the music in this film, especially Friends: Friends through eternity, loyalty, honesty Will stay together through thick or thin Friends forever we’ll be together We’re on top ’cause we play to win
I first heard about this movie in an episode of RedLetterMedia’s Best of the Worst. Check it out if you want to see more of Miami Connection without having to watch the actual film.
Also, VICE did a most excellent video examining the “true story” of the making of this film.
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