Picks and Pans Review: The Mighty Quinn

updated 03/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

Denzel Washington

When Denzel Washington finally achieves major movie-star status, this quirky thriller will serve as a historical footnote to his career. Washington wields a leading man's charm and confidence, even when he's caught in the quicksand of a stinker like Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom. In The Mighty Quinn, he gives a small-time film some big-time appeal. He plays a police chief on a small Caribbean island, where his commitment to justice is viewed as a crime by the populace. The scattershot script pits Washington against Robert (Hollywood Shuffle) Townsend, who the establishment believes murdered a businessman at the local luxury hotel. Directed by Carl Schenkel, the plot becomes more incomprehensible instead of more mysterious with each new twist. But even when the movie makes no sense, Washington's performance does. Not even this film's mumbo jumbo can mute his eloquence. (R)

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