|11.08.06||Internet|| Anyone even remotely interested in the cocaine explosion of the late 70s and early 80s needs to see this doc. It's better than Blow, Scarface, Miami Vice... all of that crap. Much like how the recent Excellent Cadavers showed the stranger-than-fiction events of the Sicilian mafia wars, this movie's doc status allows the story to show how truly excessive Miami in the late 70s/early 80s was. It's not Al Pacino walking out and killing one person in the street in broad daylight. It's doing that with machine guns every day for like 3 years. That's something that, if it weren't true, it would be unbelievable.|
This doc does a phenomenal job telling the story of just what happened to Miami, the transformation from a sleepy place where the elderly went to die into the modern neon-blitzed trendy-ass place it is today. It's told with really really great interviews with most of the prime cast of people that were responsible for the whole thing. I mean... that scene in Blow where Johnny Depp's walking around his house and there's so much money that he says "we're gonna need a bigger boat"? That's nothing. Some of the photos they pull and some of the stories these guys tell... man oh man. They also detail exactly how they'd transport the coke, how everything worked and who called the shots, and gave a general picture of how huge of an impact cocaine had on the town.
And then the violence started. About 60% of the movie deals with the ultra-violence that followed such decadent growth. A really alarming pictures of the abundance of violence that happened down there in the early 80s. Like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is an understatement. Through this whole section, a major interview is the guy who was one of the top assassins through the whole thing. And this isn't like that crappy Iceman HBO doc where they have an old guy talking about deaths just to get on TV. This guy's not so much talking about the murders (although he does do plenty of that) but more about what was happening within the cartel at the time that resulted in the violence. Plenty of gristly photos and it's all bedded by a Jan Hammer score.
So the main thrust of this movie seems to say "this is the REAL Miami Vice" and that's very true. But I found connections to all the 80s drug stories that have been seen on movies as well. Even a show like The Wire came to mind when they cry out for Baltimore's help with an annual murder rate of 400. One year in Miami there were over 600 murders. That's close to two a day, which is just crazy. It also asks some interesting questions about what happened to all this money.
This is a really great movie. If you are reading this and you are someone I talk to on a regular basis, be prepared to have me tell you how much you need to see this. It's really unbelievable.