Lampooning dictators, leaders, and presidents may work in the show "South Park," but basing a live-action fictional "comedic" film around them could only end in disastrous results. Such is the case of the Fidel Castro "comedy" "I Love Miami."
The plot: After an assassination attempt on a boat, Fidel Castro hops into a raft and finds himself drifting towards Florida. Upon arriving in Key Largo, Castro is in bad health but is helped out by a variety of folks. Once back to his normal self, Castro tries to find a way back to Cuba while simultaneously trying to blend in in Key Largo. The solution? Castro decides to help out at a local restaurant.
The worst part of "I Love Miami" (besides the story sounding like a bad sitcom or "Saturday Night Live" sketch) is that it takes itself seriously. The back of the DVD box bills the film as a "dark comedy," but that is simply not the case. The film is a preachy drama about Fidel Castro winding up on a raft to America (like so many Cuban people) and seeing not only the effects of his actions, but seeing the attitudes towards him by his fellow country men and women. As if that weren't enough, the script further degrades Castro by making him work in a restaurant with three women and a gay man. With such a cartoony premise, you'd think it would be humorous? Alas no. Had the film been a straight comedy, it may have been slightly better (key word: slightly). In some ways, however, I am grateful it isn't a comedy as the filmmakers may have created a series of comedic Fidel Castro adventure films. The world should be spared of seeing movies like Fidel Goes To New York or Fidel Goes To Washington.
The movie also contains some of the choppiest editing I've seen since I watched a Ulli Lommel film. The film seems to be in a hurry as the story bounces around from subplot to subplot and scene to scene at lightning speed. There are no real scene transitions which creates a jumbled mess.
The 1.78:1 letterbox picture brilliantly captures the lush tropical beaches and seas on screen. I did notice some color glare, but overall the picture quality is better than this film deserves.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track is acceptable. Since the film is dialogue driven (with some music here and there) there isn't a need for a layered audio track. Viewers can also watch the film with a 2.0 Dolby Digital track.
Trailers for "Love Hurts," "Conejo En La Luna," "Mantando Cabos," "The Buenrostro Women," "Amor Extremo," and "Wilted Heart." None of these films look worthwhile. Viewers also have the option to play the film with Spanish or English subtitles. No dubs to be found!
I wouldn't wish "I Love Miami" on anyone...except maybe Ashton Kutcher. Skip it.
Film and television enthusiast Nick Lyons recently had his first book published titled "Attack of the Sci-Fi Trivia." It is available on Amazon.com.