Mighty Quinn [1989]

A highly enjoyable sleeper. The plot of The Mighty Quinn is a variation on one of those '30s studio pictures about two boyhood friends who grow up on different sides of the law--but it's 1989, and things are a bit different. Denzel Washington, smooth as Jamaican rum, plays the police chief of a Caribbean island, a place where crime isn't exactly a pressing concern. Thus the chief is put out when the clues in a murder case point to his old buddy, a dreadlocked ne'er-do-well played by a mischievous Robert Townsend. Director Carl Schenkel is much more interested in friendships and great island atmosphere than in the actual unlocking of the case, and that's just fine. Add in a bouncy soundtrack of reggae music, and The Mighty Quinn becomes one of those hard-to-resist vacation movies. --Robert Horton

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