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Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Big Easy (1987)

An unethical New Orleans cop (Dennis Quaid) is investigating some gangland style killings. When an attractive assistant District Attorney (Ellen Barkin) begins to look into police corruption in New Orleans, the pair square off against each other despite the obvious sexual attraction between them. Working from an original screenplay by Daniel Petrie Jr., the director Jim McBride pushes too hard. He's got a great set of actors, the chemistry between Quaid and Barkin is smoking, but McBride seems to be forcing the chemistry instead of just letting it be. It's there, leave it alone! The film itself is a fairly standard police corruption movie but dressed up in its New Orleans setting, it's hard to resist. I liked that the film didn't shy away from the blatant sense of entitlement many policemen seem to have ("I'm risking my life for you! Gimme some perks!") which can lead to the rot that can infect the good cops ("we protect our own") too. It's a well made film though the ending seems so abrupt that I suspect something ended up on the cutting room floor. With John Goodman, Ned Beatty, Grace Zabriskie, Marc Lawrence and Charles Ludlum.

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