With warmer weather approaching and an optimistic tone in the air, I can think of no better time to transport back to 1987 for the MIAMI VICE ACTION SPECTACULAR at Universal Studios Theme Park!
Remember that scene in Wayne’s World when Garth is looking down on the brand new, ultra-polished television studio version of his best friend Wayne’s basement and says “we’re looking down on Wayne’s basement, only that’s not Wayne’s basement. Isn’t that weird?” The crew agrees and Wayne congratulates Garth that what he just said was a haiku.
Four years into the pop culture explosion Miami Vice the TV show, Universal Studios opened the Miami Vice Action Spectacular stunt show. Each performance was an adventure-packed 15 minutes with faux Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs chasing bad guys, dodging bullets, dodging explosions, jet-skiing and power boating to the slick sounds of Jan Hammer’s immaculate soundtrack. Watch the promo video below!
It’s the most ambitious special effects presentation ever designed. Unbelievable explosions. Outrageous pyrotechnics. With over 50 high-tech special effects and stunts in a breakneck-paced 15 minutes, no-one’s ever pulled a stunt like this before! – From “Universal Studios Hollywood Guide”, 1991
Audience members would watch two undercover cops raid a drug lord’s compound while using boats, jet skis, guns, explosions, and even a run-away mine cart. Shown day or night, the show’s finale involved a helicopter on a giant arm that emerged from behind a building, as seen in the photo below.
After Miami Vice (the TV show) was cancelled in 1990, the stunt spectacular managed to survive until early 1995. It eventually became the Waterworld Stunt Show, which if you can believe, is still operating today! With the stunt work of both shows being very similar, I think I speak for everyone in saying that the Miami Vice Action Spectacular needs to come back. Unless I missed something and people are more nostalgic for Kevin Costner’s Waterworld movie?
TNUC has all the respect in the world for stunt performers who do this stuff day in/day out, year after year. What these two actors are able to do physically in 15 minutes in front of a live audience is pretty remarkable. Watch more of the nail-biting performance in this clip.