Bil’s rating (out of 5): B. USA, 1990. Tristes Tropiques. Screenplay by George Armitage, based on the novel by Charles Willeford. Cinematography by Tak Fujimoto. Produced by Jonathan Demme, Gary Goetzman. Music by Gary Chang. Production Design by Maher Ahmad. Costume Design by Eugenie Bafaloukos. Film Editing by Craig McKay. Boston Film Critics Awards 1990. New York Film Critics Awards 1990.
Strange and uncomfortable blend of comedy and action as bad guy Alec Baldwin gets out of prison, flies to Miami and goes on a crime spree in the hopes of becoming the king of the bad guys down there. He can barely get off his arriving flight without causing mayhem, and his destructive path immediately gets a police officer (Fred Ward) on his tail. Before long he has shacked up with a naïve prostitute (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and stolen Ward’s I.D., running about town pretending to be the law while he shoots and robs anyone who is in his way. Baldwin is wonderfully charismatic in the role, handsome and scary at the same time, and his willingness to be as big a clown as he is a sex symbol is impressive, but George Armitage has no idea what to do with this mess and the overall effect is neither memorable nor even lightly enjoyable.