The Mighty Quinn (1989)

Genres - Action, Comedy Drama, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Police Detective Film, Police Drama  |   Release Date - Feb 16, 1989 (USA)  |   Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Perry Seibert

Crime films in exotic locations almost always play well as long as the filmmakers remember to balance local color with an engaging story. The Mighty Quinn finds that balance perfectly. Denzel Washington anchors the film as the chief of police in a Caribbean town that has just had its first murder in quite some time. Quinn is under a great deal of pressure -- his marriage is on the rocks, he is getting political pressure from higher ups to solve the crime, and the prime suspect is his lifelong friend, the charming rogue/local legend Maubee (played by a winning, scene-stealing Robert Townsend). The film offers some very entertaining reggae music (including a great twist on the song that shares the name of the film), gorgeous cinematography that will have anyone reaching for a drink with an umbrella in it, and a solid story full of interesting supporting players. Director Carl Schenkel will never be thought of as an auteur, but with the best script he was ever given, he delivers first-rate entertainment.