Friday, July 1, 2016

The Big Easy (1986)

Director: Jim McBride

Writer: Daniel Petrie Jr.

Composer: Brad Fiedel

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Ellen Barkin, Ned Beatty, John Goodman, Lisa Jane Persky, Ebbe Roe Smith, Rom O'Brien, Charles Ludlam, Grace Zabriskie, Marc Lawrence, Solomon Burke

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Between them lies the fate of the state of New Orleans

Plot: Set in New Orleans. Remy McSwain, lieutenant in Homicide finds that he has two problems, the first of a series of gang killings and Ann Osborne, a beautiful attorney from the D.A.'s police corruption task force in his office. He begins a relationship with her as the killings continue only to have charges filed against him for accepting bribes as he stumbles on a police corruption Sting. While this is happening, the criminals insist that none of the crime gangs are behind the killings.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I lived in New Orleans for a time.  I love visiting there but living there has its ups and downs; the downs being the horrendous corruption and crime.  That was a long time ago but nothing's really changed.  Having this film set there (it was originally set in Chicago) is a huge plus.  The city oozes with character and it's unlike any other large American city.  That's one of the good things about this thriller that I would recommend watching it for.  Another is Dennis Quaid's performance as Remy, one of every crooked cop in the picture.  His accent is pretty damn good but there's a good chunk of actors in this thing that sound like their in a cartoon.  Some of the accents are laughably bad and I found it distracting.  But then I'm a stickler for getting Southern accents right.  John Goodman and Ned Beatty are always fun to watch.  As a thriller goes, it hits all of the right beats in storytelling and tension building to get us where we need to go.  I liked having Remy and Anne (Barkin) on opposite ends of the law in the trial halfway into the film.  That threw a monkey wrench into their relationship and the buildup to the ending was good despite the typical ending with everything tying up a little too neatly.  I would have given it a 7 out of 10 if it weren't for the outrageously poor accents from some of the cast.  Rather than watch this again I'll just drive the three and a half hours to NO and spend the day soaking up the atmosphere. The Trimark DVD has a non-anamorphic widescreen print and the extras include...well fuck.  The flipside of the disc doesn't work. Take a trip to New Orleans instead and try not to get shot.

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