The Mighty Quinn (1989)

Denzel Washington, Robert Townsend, James Fox, Mimi Rogers,
When police officer Xavier Quinn's childhood friend, Maubee, becomes associated with murder and a briefcase full of ten thousand dollar bills, The Mighty Quinn must clear his name. Or try to catch him, which could be even trickier.
  • 6.0 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Albert Z. Carr, Hampton Fancher, Writer:
  • Carl Schenkel, Director:
  • Ed Elbert, Dale Pollock, Producer:

All subtitles:



3/4 / 10

[Washington] gives the kind of smooth, funny, laid-back performance that could help make him the first black matinee idol since Sidney Poitier.

/ 10

With Fancher's dialogue and Washington's comedic timing, The Mighty Quinn is more fun than a cabana full of bananas.

4/4 / 10

The Mighty Quinn is a spy thriller, a buddy movie, a musical, a comedy and a picture that is wise about human nature. And yet with all of those qualities, it never seems to strain.

7 / 10

It's always interesting to see cultures that we often forget about.

"The Mighty Quinn" is one of those movies that isn't a masterpiece by any stretch, but is interesting for what it shows. In this case, we get to see Jamaica, where sheriff Xavier Quinn (Denzel Washington) is investigating a murder and trying to clear his friend Maubee's (Robert Townsend) name. One of the most interesting scenes is when someone escapes from a house by climbing through the tin roof. Now there's a look at the Caribbean! Probably the best part of this movie is the soundtrack. Considering that it happens in the Caribbean, you know that there's got to be some great music. And you won't be disappointed. Like I said, "The Mighty Quinn" isn't a great movie or anything, but it's interesting for what it shows. See it if possible.

5 / 10

Where's Belafonte when you need him?

Relaxed -- very relaxed -- murder story, with Denzel Washington as a detective ordered to find and capture his friend so the murder can be rapidly cleared up and the tourist trade flow along liquidly. Halfway through, Washington begins to believe that there is more to the case than meets the eye, and that his buddy will be no more than a scapegoat.

Very nice location shooting in Jamaica. If you like reggae, you will LOVE this film's score. There are lots of shots of the beautiful beach. Hey, mon, why you jomp in dee wah-tah faw? The more desperately seedy areas of Kingston are avoided, as they would be in one of Hitchcock's movies set in an exotic locale. The viewpoint is that of the tourist used to saying in nice hotels, the kind with jacuzzis but no venomous snakes.

Denzel Washington handles the accent pretty well without quite shedding his own phones. Sometimes it fades more than others. The other performers don't really have too much to do. Everyone seems to be enjoying himself, as if on vacation.

The movie is rather good-natured considering the plot. The white guys tend to be bad, while the local people of color are at worst raffish. Is there still such racial friction in Jamaica? I don't know, but in the Bahamas the races get along well with one another, as they do in much of the Caribbean. Maybe big cities breed animosities spontaneously.

There's nothing truly outstanding about this routine flick, except, as I've noted, the score. It's not especially exciting, mysterious, amusing, or engaging in any other way. It's not a bad flick if you're prepared to let it take you by the hand and lead you along the colorful streets, pointing out sites of interest, suggesting you taste the jerky and try one of those pink drinks in a tall glass with a flower and a paper umbrella sticking out of it. We call it Captain Bluebeard's Mango Flavored Rum Punch. Mind the umbrella. One of awah tourists lost an eye last year. Don't drink? Fine, bad faw the health. Care for one of awah Jah-may-can cigars?

You might not remember much of it later but you won't object to having watched it.