DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

THE BIG EASY (director: Jim McBride; screenwriter: Dan Petrie Jr; cinematographer: Afonso Beato; editor: Mia Goldman; music: Brad Feidel; cast:  Dennis Quaid (Remy McSwain), Ellen Barkin (Anne Osborne), Ned Beatty (Jack Kellom), John Goodman (Det. Andre DeSoto ), Ebb Roe Smith (Detective Dodge) Lisa Jane Persky (McCabe), Charles Ludlam (Lamar); Runtime: 108; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Stephen Friedman; Kings Road; 1986)

"Revels in its slight plot, noirish atmosphere, sassy interplay between main characters and its gumbo-like smells."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Jim McBride ("The Wrong Man"/"Uncovered"/"The Informant") directs and Dan Petrie Jr scripts a screwball comedy/melodrama about big city police corruption, one that's filled with offbeat humor and odd moments. It was filmed on location.

Remy McSwain (Dennis Quaid) is a ballsy New Orleans homicide lieutenant detective, a slick good ole boy, who is on the take so he can afford to buy expensive stylish clothes. Anne Osborne (Ellen Barkin) is an investigator in "The Big Easy" D.A. office, a Yankee import, who is assigned to look into the allegations of Mafia corruption in the NOPD. The gruff Remy and the sexy Anne make things fun as they partner and tangle. The uptight Anne gets the business from her extroverted subject, who tries using his brash charm to get her into the bedroom.

The homicide chief is played in a fatherly manner by Ned Beatty. The smarmy defense attorney is delightfully played by playwright Charles Ludlam, from the off-Broadway's Ridiculous Theater Company. And Lisa Jane Persky is a detective colleague of Quaid's, who can return his macho quips with equal zing.

The film revels in its slight plot, noirish atmosphere, sassy interplay between main characters and its gumbo-like smells. If cooked a little better and with fresher ingredients, this would have been a gourmet delight.

REVIEWED ON 4/8/2016       GRADE: B

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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