A bluesy neo-noir mystery based on Walter Mosley's first novel, Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) stars Denzel Washington as Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlands, recently relocated from Huston to Los Angeles for a mechanic's job, got himself a mortgage on the G.I. Bill, then lost his job.
It's 1948. After two months unemployed & getting fearful of losing his house, Easy meets Dewitt Allbright (Tom Sizemore), who makes a living doing "favors for friends." He offers Easy a job with no clue what it is. He's about to be shoehorned into the Private Eye business.
The search for a missing white woman "with a predilection for jazz & dark meat" requires someone like Easy to track her down. Her name's Daphne (Jennifer Beals), the titular devil in a blue dress. A child-molesting would-be politician (Maury Chaykin) either wants her back or wants her dead, as she knows too much.
So begins the spiral into danger & deceit & sexy adventure & murder, with Easy not the sort to leave someone out on a limb just for a paycheck.
When things get really rough & Easy no longer knows who can be trusted, he calls his pal from Texas, Mouse, elegantly played by Don Cheadle.
Mouse is one of the most appealling psycho dandies of all cinema. He's kind of like a pet demon, faithful to a fault but be damned careful how you word things when you want him to do something. He's liable to interpret just about any request as a hit job.
Dewitt turns out to be ultra-dangerous to Easy & everyone else, but with Mouse on his side, there's a lot less to worry about. We're fifty minutes into the film when Mouse shows up from Houston, at which point an already exciting film becomes totally massively thrilling.
Daphne's a femme fatale not half as rotten as every damned gangster & politician she's set herself against. The holy trinity here is Easy the father, Mouse the son, & Daphne the holy ghost, & between them, holy retribution has got to catch someone.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl