Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Before They Were Stars: The Mighty Quinn


Howdy boys and girls!  Yes we are back again with Before They Were Stars and to be honest this film was deeply impressive from the story to the cast and crew.  Grab your snacks, get over that round of musical chairs and let’s kick this pig.   This is The Mighty Quinn.

Spoilers be the devil.

The 1989 film is most definitely a thriller with a pretty top notch crew, lead by TV and movie director Carl Shenkel (Graf Dracula beiBt jetzt in Oberbayern, Abwarts, Bay Coven, The Edge, Silhouette and Knight Moves) writer Hampton Fancher (Blade Runner, The Minus Man) take the thriller novel Finding Maubee based on A. H.Z. Carr’s 1982 novel .  

Police Chief Xavier Quinn (Denzel Washington of St. Elsewhere, Glory, Ricochet, Malcolm X, Much Ado About Nothing, Crimson Tide, Training Day and The Book of Eli) is called to investigate a resort hotel mogul Donald Pater (Bobby Ghisays of Club Paradise, Passion and Paradise and Popcorn) and all circumstantial evidence points to Quinn’s childhood friend Maubee (Robert Townsend of Odd Jobs, The Five Heartbeats, The Meteor Man, Bliss, Taxman and Undercover Brother) this unnamed island in the Caribbean has the typical local bureaucracy with the island governor (Norman Beaton of Black Joy, The Fosters, Empire Road and Desmond’s) and his power player Thomas Elgin (James Fox of The Servant, King Rat, The Chase, Farwell to the King, Patriot Games, Mickey Blue Eyes) seem to want this to be an open and shut case. An American representing Pater’s company Fred Miller (M. Emmet Walsh of Blade Runner, Blood Simple, The Flash, Silverfox, White Sands and Equinox) agrees with the governor.   Quinn is not satisfied with the answers he has been given for his questions.   You get the feeling that most the witnesses have been threatened or bought off.

Maubee is evading the police so well that he even drops by to visit Quinn face to face.   From chatting up the local witch to questioning Thomas Elgin’s wife Hadley (Mimi Rogers of Gung Ho, Street Smart, Someone to Watch Over Me, The Doors, Wedlock and The Rapture).  Hadley makes dreamy eyes at Xavier.  The investigation goes on, feathers are getting ruffled and Xavier is devoting so much time to defend Maubee that his wife and son feel the strain of going beyond the call of duty.  One witness claims to see Maubee take off with a 10,000 dollar bill.  Quinn knows there is no such bill so the mystery is getting stranger already.

The cause of death is pretty spot on to as Pater was found floating in a Jacuzzi tub decapitated.  *adjusts shades* Guess he just lost his head *cues Baba O Reilly*.    The islands doctor Dr. Raj (Keye Luke of The Green Hornet, Charlie Chan at the Circus, King of Burlesque, Kung Fu and The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan) indicates that Pater had a venomous snake bite prior to decapitation.  A man keeps tailing Quinn and making his own inquiries.   The plot thickens further and the entangled web reveals plots and counterplots.   As a first major movie role let alone lead role Washington knocks this one out of the ball park.  The tension ratchets up well and this film will keep you constantly guessing what is happening next.   I found this to be riveting, clever and quite devious.  This is completely worth the watch people.