Posted on Monday, May 26th, 2008 by Hunter Stephenson
Earlier this month, we reported on the possibility of a new HBO show based on 2006′s engrossing hit documentary, Cocaine Cowboys, from uber players Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer. Today, Slashfilm gives you an exclusive review of the script for Cocaine Cowboys‘ pilot episode written by Billy Corben and David Cypkin of Rakontur, the Miami-based production company behind the doc and its sequel (set for release this July). For legal reasons, we’ve omitted specific plot details in the review.
Being familiar with Rakontur’s M.O. and work from my time on Miami Beach, I had previously tagged their HBO show pitch as “the antithesis of Miami Vice.” So, it was no surprise to see the opening credits in the script described as such. Verbatim. But while the show’s oddly subdued credits might fit this “antithesis” (old farts playing shuffleboard, an idyllic underdeveloped Miami Beach circa ’79) , the pilot is not as leery of Don Johnson’s white blazers and Michael Mann’s kooky multiculti derelicts and crabs as I surmised. Recall that the first season of Miami Vice didn’t drip with Art Deco camp under Mann’s watch: the action exuded unprecedented cinematic flash and all of Miami was game, not just Miami Beach beauty. New York City figured into Vice‘s early storyline, as it does here. Everything in Cocaine Cowboys is similarly bigger-than-life but far seedier.
Cowboys‘ opening scenes–a hasty drug deal at sea set aboard a 150-foot vessel that’s quietly sinking under the careless supervision of incredibly stoned, hard partying Rasta thugs–conjures the same crotch-grabbing gusto and hyper-imagery on display in Mr. Bay’s Bad Boys II. The similarity is blatant, even. We’re talking requisite Miami bimbos jumping off a nearby sailboat after its comically set ablaze by a flare fired by an addled rudeboy named Chicken. Think swooping Bay-mentored aerial views of hot-boobs-overboard. Will HBO execs desire this sort of acronym? After reading the script a few times, I’d bet that the sought-after demographics would get sucked in quickly…and cocaine use would probably get a nice boost nationwide. Note: nothing in the script came off like Billy Walsh’s Medellin– thankfully–but Billy Walsh would definitely set his DVR.
Continue reading the script review of the Cocaine Cowboys pilot for HBO after the jump…
Discuss: Would you like to see a new HBO show from Bay, Bruckheimer and Rakontur about the ’80s cocaine trade and culture in Miami, Florida?