Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Movie Review: "Devil in a Blue Dress" (1995)

Image Source
Movie"Devil in a Blue Dress"
Director: Carl Franklin
Year: 1995
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlings (Denzel Washington) was recently fired from his job. In an effort to earn some extra cash he takes a job from a man named DeWitt Albright (Tom Sizemore) to find information on the location of a woman named Daphne Monet (Jennifer Beals). This job isn't as easy as he thought and things get dangerous when people start turning up dead. 

Early Denzel! Except, man, he needed to lose the porn-stache.

This film is a neo-noir thriller about a black man who takes a shot at private investigation in late 1940's California, a time when Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws were still very much in effect in the United States. Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlings, played excellently by the ever talented Denzel Washington, is ex-military who fought for the US in WWII, but despite his services and his defense of the country, he still has to face racial discrimination every single day. He is just trying to make a buck so he can pay his mortgage as owning a home is what he is most proud of. What Ezekiel thinks is a simple missing persons case, trying to find out what happened to the mayor's missing girlfriend for a quick hundred bucks, quickly turns into something much dirtier and much deeper than he anticipated. Easy becomes the prime suspect in a murder which is connected to his missing persons case. He discovers he being deceived by his employer, his friends and other informants, and that this missing persons case could be more about politics, blackmail and the upcoming mayoral race than simply just a missing, promiscuous girlfriend.

This film is very noir right down to the voice over, but it is much more brightly shot and lacks the typical dark shadowy mood of many of the older film noir movies. There is a lot of intrigue to this story and some really good characters and mystery here. The best thing about this movie is the way its director, Carl Franklin, brought the 1940's to life right in front of our eyes, right down to the cars and the colors of buildings. It's all very accurate for its time period. Another fantastic part of this movie is the character of Mouse Alexander, played wonderfully by Don Cheadle. Seriously, is there anything Washington and Cheadle can't do?

Overall, though, this movie was just alright to us. Beyond these few great things about it, this movie wasn't one that pulled us in too terribly, even with quite a bit of thrills, but it's not horrible to say the least. It's not deserving of any specific hate, but it's also not exceptional.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

No comments:

Post a Comment