The Mighty Quinn (1989)
Critics Consensus: A deft hybrid of laughs, espionage, and music, The Mighty Quinn is a smart, pleasant entertainment that offers an early example of Denzel Washington's onscreen magnetism.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Xavier Quinn (Denzel Washington) is police chief of a tiny Caribbean island. Quinn's efforts to straddle the fence between the local blacks and the moneyed whites have lost him the respect of both groups. When a murder is committed, Quinn suspects that the killer is Maubee (Robert Townsend), a notoriously elusive criminal who has become a folk hero to the locals. Despite various political pressures -- and the fact that he and Maubee were childhood friends-Quinn vows to solve the murder, and, if necessary, bring Maubee to justice. A mess of merry plot twists distinguish this diverting fox-and-hound caper. Filmed entirely on location, The Mighty Quinn was based on Finding Maubee, a novel by A.H.Z. Carr. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Mighty Quinn
[Washington] gives the kind of smooth, funny, laid-back performance that could help make him the first black matinee idol since Sidney Poitier.
With Fancher's dialogue and Washington's comedic timing, The Mighty Quinn is more fun than a cabana full of bananas.
The Mighty Quinn is a spy thriller, a buddy movie, a musical, a comedy and a picture that is wise about human nature. And yet with all of those qualities, it never seems to strain.
Pleasing comical murder mystery that takes place on a small Caribbean island.
An award-worthy performance by Washington
The colourful locale -- it was shot on the northeastern coast of Jamaica -- spices up the formulaic screenplay, which contains sentimental twaddle about identifying with one's culture.
A terrific mystery with a Caribbean beat; Denzel Washington needs to do more movies like this.
Engrossing mystery in a unique setting
Audience Reviews for The Mighty Quinn
The smooth and charming Denzel Washington plays a Caribbean cop investigating a murder that his childhood friend Maubee (Robert Townsend) may be implicated in. Townsend plays the role of a carefree individual who does just what he pleases and mostly the wrong side of the law and is constantly laughing at strait laced Xavier Quinn who is not taking crap from the rich white folks that want him to look the other side. Mimi Rogers is convincing as a damsel in distress and Sheryl Lee Ralph showcases her talents as both an actress and a singer while Robert Townsend, steals the show as the cheerfully irresponsible "victim of circumstances". Great location, wonderful reggae music; we also get to see Denzil strutting his stuff on the piano; now if you can just ignore the phony Jamaican accents, you'll enjoy this one a whole lot more!More
I really enjoyed watching "The Mighty Quinn". The picture is very well directed and well casted. Denzel Washington plays a West Indies chief Xavier Quinn (cool name) handling a murder case and is facing a problem since his good friend Maubee (Robert Townsend) may have been involved. Filmmaker Carl Schenkel has a real feel of the Carribean culture, the music and the characters. I admired the small relationship between Washington and Mimi Rogers since they both reminded me of Walter Neff and Phyllis Dietrichson.
"The Mighty Quinn" is one of those great drama thrillers like Arthur Penn's "Night Moves" where you got a very smooth, handsome main character all caught up in a plot that will eventually get in way over his head. In this case it would be Xavier Quinn. For a low budget picture drama, this movie sure puts a badly big budget film to shame.
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