The Mighty Quinn ***1/2

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“The Mighty Quinn” is one of those movies that I instinctively respond to. It is a movie that doesn’t simply fit in to one genre. It is part crime thriller, murder mystery, with moments of humor and character. There is also a lot of great musical numbers.

The film takes place in a small Caribbean town filled with a lot of intriguing characters. The director fills this town with a lot of authentic details making it seem like a real place as opposed to just a nice place to set a movie.

Denzel Washington plays Xavier Quinn, the police chief of the town. When a wealthy hotel owner is murdered, one of his childhood friends becomes the main suspect. He doesn’t buy it and sets on a path to find out the truth. Washington’s performance is the heart of the film. He really solidified his leading man status with this movie. His Quinn is smart but flawed.

During the investigation he gets close to the hotel owners wife played by Mimi Rogers. They have a scene together that is filled with erotic suspense. Each actor is so good that you could take out the dialogue and let them play with just their eyes.

A lot of studio thrillers these days don’t have time for the details of daily life. Dialogue is used to push along a tired plot. No scenes are given to the actors to truly develop their characters. And I dare any director to try and put a musical number in to their film and see how far they get with the studio executives.

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