American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
They're looking for the right tone in "Miami Blues," and they don't find it very often, but when they do, you can see what they were looking for. The movie wants to be an off-center comedy, a lopsided cops-and-robbers movie where everybody has a few screws loose. But so much love is devoted to creating the wacko loonies in the cast that we're left with a set of personality profiles, not characters.
The film stars Alec Baldwin, fresh from "The Hunt For Red October," as Fred Frenger, an ex-con who has just arrived in Miami looking for a fresh start. He gets started off on the wrong foot. At the airport, he's approached by a Hare Krishna, and he bends the guy's finger back until it breaks. Not nice, especially since the cult member dies of shock.
Frenger is a thief, con man and cheat. He also is incredibly reckless and will get himself into situations a dopey high school kid would know enough to avoid. He wanders through the world looking for suitcases to steal, wallets to lift, identification papers he can use.
Nothing much is planned, and most of his jobs depend on sheer blind luck. One piece of luck, sort of, is when he meets Susie, a hooker played by Jennifer Jason Leigh. She's a student at Dade Junior College, working her way through school, and she isn't very bright. In fact, she's so slow to catch on that conversation with her involves saying things, and then explaining them, and then telling her it doesn't matter anyway.