A Colorful Mystery
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 09/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This colorful mystery harkens back to those old 1930's films of old friends like Gable and Powell who suddenly find themselves on opposite sides of the law. There is a fun flavor and lots of great music in Carl Schenkel's take on this genre from Hollywood's past. Denzel Washington charms his way through this film set on a Caribbean island where nothing is done in a big hurry.
Denzel is Xavier Quinn, an easygoing ex-marine who has returned to the island where he grew up and become the Chief of Police. On the outs with his wife Lola (Sheryl Lee Ralph), he spends most of the film trying to charm his way back into her good graces so he can be with her and his son, who idolizes him.
When someone important ends up dead, and Thomas Elgin (James Foxx) wants Quinn to accept on blind faith how it happened, Quinn can smell something funny through the clear blue waters and goes fishing. Complicating things is Elgin's desire to pin the murder on Quinn's old childhood friend, Maubee (Robert Townsend).
Maubee is an island legend, loved and protected like Robin Hood. He is a likable guy who has never grown up. When someone compares him to Peter Pan, Quinn laughs and explains he's more like Bugs Bunny. Quinn has doubts Maubee would kill anyone. When a currency which doesn't even exist starts showing up, he knows more is going on here than meets the eye.
A couple of people end up murdered while Quinn tries to patch up things with Lola, look for Maubee, and avoid sleeping with both a lovely island girl, and the very sexy wife of Thomas Elgin, Hadley (Mimi Rogers). Rogers is especially terrific here and burns up the screen in every scene she's in.
Screen legend Keye Luke has a good role as Quinn's old friend, Dr. Raj, who Quinn sneaks in to do an autopsy he's been forbidden to do. Tyra Ferrell is lovely and sexy as Isola, and Ester Rolle has some fine moments as the very Caribbean Ubu Pearl, who Quinn believes knows exactly what's going on.
The story sounds dark, but it is filled with bright colors and the smooth flavor of Jamaican rum. This is a very fun to watch film that feels like a vacation in and of itself. Denzel is fantastic as Quinn, who avoids taking the easy route with the almost irresistable Mimi Rogers, and tries to avoid being Elmer Fudd to his old pal's Bugs Bunny.
This is an excellent mystery with a big splash of color and some great music that will be a favorite after you see it for the first time. A real winner!"
How do I look? Like a ripe mango:)
Godwin Olivier | New York | 03/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie instantly became one of my top three favorite movies of all time. I went on Amazon.com the day after I saw it and ordered myself a copy, I simply had to have it. I could tell right away I was going to watch it over and over and over..First of all, and of supreme importance, the writing is excellent. The first few times I watched it I kept on finding more and more wonderful nuances. There is even a story within a story. There is so much more to this movie when you keep your ears pricked and your expectations high.The camera is magical, and seems to capture the very essence of each scene. The cast is brilliant -- practically everyone can act, and act well (except for the Lizard-Fish). The soundtrack rocks with sweet old school reggae (this is a 1987 movie, after all).Denzel Washington plays an overworked, righteous and heroic chief of police, endowed with a highly accurate intuition and overflowing with charm. Ladies, he is hot. His best friend, Maubee, is the prime suspect in a murder that makes no sense. Add to that suspicion and conspiracy and a ten thousand dollar bill, and you have a mystery sleeper that keeps you guessing and entertains consistently. Great for any audience.The dialogue is rhythmic, musical -- the Jamaican accents are rich in variety, pleasing to the ear, comprehensible, and believable. Even Denzel's accent leaves nothing wanting.I've lost count of how many times I've watched The Mighty Quinn solve this mystery while juggling his personal obligations. You will not regret getting this movie."
This is REALLY cool!!!
Godwin Olivier | 07/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Action/mystery with Denzel Washington as a Carribean cop investigating a murder which may implicate his childhood friend (Robert Townsend). Good plot, excellent supporting cast (Mimi Rogers, James Fox, Esther Rolle, Sheryl Lee Ralph), good locations, and an awsome reggae soundtrack add up to a solid picture. It has everything you need in a good video to rent or buy. If you are a Denzel fan, you're in for a speacial treat (I like his work, but am not a major fan and I loved this!!!)."
Laid-Back Island Fun
C. T. Mikesell | near Eugene, Oregon | 12/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's very little I dislike about this movie. Okay, the swearing's a bit much, but everything else - the characters, the mystery, the music, the scenery - is incredibly enjoyable.Denzel Washington portrays Police Chief Xavier Quinn, a cop who struggles for respect from a lower-class that sees him as a betrayer and an upper-class that has no use for him beyond that of lap dog. His character's development is an unsuspected surprise in what could have been just another run-of-the-mill tropical thriller.Supporting characters played by Robert Townsend, Mimi Rogers, Esther Rolle, and M. Emmett Walsh are also surprisingly nuanced, as is the murder investigation itself. The only main character I didn't quite get is Sheryl Lee Ralph as Quinn's wife; her expectations for her husband seem ill-defined in the story - in keeping with the island custom, however, I didn't let it get to me; I just went with it.This is a budget release, so except for the trailer there are no extra features. There isn't even an insert card showing chapter listing. Subtitles come only in French and Spanish, but the film is closed-captioned if you want the equivalent of English subtitling. I would've liked more features, but I'm not going to let that get to me, either.Get this DVD. Then get some popcorn and pour some rum in your Coke - or at least drop in a tiny paper umbrella - and enjoy the show."