Denzel Washington in Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

Washington wants a Monet

It's 1948 and Easy Rawlins (Denzel Washington - Virtuosity) finds himself unfairly dismissed from his job and scouting around LA to find work in order to pay his mortgage. It is why when approached by DeWitt Albright (Tom Sizemore - Striking Distance) who offers to pay him to track down a girl he takes it even though he is suspicious. And rightly so as Easy is no detective and the woman he needs to find is Daphne Monet (Jennifer Beals - Flashdance) who just happens to be the girlfriend of one of the mayoral candidates. His search finds himself mixing with some crooked types and at the centre of a couple of murders.

There are those who do and those who don't and when it comes to film-noir and similar style movies I am one of those who don't really get what the attraction is. The whole styling from the narration to the sexy women and twisting storyline which has long been the manufactured basis of the noir genre has never captivated like me as it has some. It is why I feel I should say that despite the encouraging reviews of "Devil in a Blue Dress" I felt it would be hard work with the only real reason I wanted to watch it was that it was a Denzel Washington movie.

Jennifer Beals in Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

Now "Devil in a Blue Dress" delivered everything I expected from the narration to the smoky atmosphere of gin joints as men walk in with pretty dames on their arms but done not so much in a modern style but with some energy to it which wasn't part of the picture when these noir detective movies were hugely popular. In fact it also has the storyline to match the look with dodgy characters, murders, dangerous dames and some twists as we have a who done it on our hands. What though makes this a bit more interesting is that in Easy Rawlins we have a man playing detective who doesn't carry a gun and is a little naive to things as he finds himself in over his bead.

Along with delivering what I expected from the storyline and style it also delivered exactly what I expected from the acting with the likes of Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore and Jennifer Beals delivering classic characters but with more energy and attitude than you would have seen in the old noir detective movies. It makes them all entertaining with Washington doing a solid job of playing Easy whilst also delivering the narration as is typical of this sort of movie although this is a long way from being a memorable Denzel Washington performance.

What this all boils down to is that "Devil in a Blue Dress" is everything I expected it to be which is basically a 90s version of 1950s noir detective movie. And as such it wasn't for me as the whole styling of these noir detective movies have never really appealed to me but for those who like a 1940s set detective movie I am sure it will impress more.