Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1995. TriStar Pictures, Clinica Estetico, Mundy Lane Entertainment. Screenplay by Carl Franklin, based on the novel by Walter Mosley. Cinematography by Tak Fujimoto. Produced by Jesse Beaton, Gary Goetzman. Music by Elmer Bernstein. Production Design by Gary Frutkoff. Costume Design by Sharen Davis. Film Editing by Carole Kravetz Aykanian. New York Film Critics Awards 1995. Toronto International Film Festival 1995.
Exquisitely photographed, crisply written detective thriller based on the books by Walter Mosely has Denzel Washington looking fabulous in an undershirt as stalwart hero Easy Rawlins. A returning vet from the second World War, Rawlins is hunting for work when the promise of a good payday walks into his bar: a man named Albright (Tom Sizemore) tells him that the mayor’s girlfriend has gone missing and he’s willing to pay good money to find her. Rawlins takes the job but what starts out as a simple search for a missing woman turns out to be a convoluted fall down a rabbit hole of political corruption and a very dangerous sex scandal. Was the job a set-up, and is the woman in on the deal? The secrets are there for you to enjoy discovering as every turn takes you into a different world with new, increasingly fascinating characters, the best of them Don Cheadle as Washington’s loose cannon sidekick with the magnificent name of Mouse Alexander. It’s a shame that the film didn’t spin out into a franchise, but at least the one effort we have is a firecracker of a film that deserves multiple viewings to work out all its juicy details.