Do I really need to say anymore?
Ok, just a few words, given that, despite receiving really strong reviews as one of the most stylish and intelligent detective films made in years at the time, Franklin's 1995 adaptation of Walter Mosley's novel never found a mass audience, sadly. It grossed a pittance - $16,140,822 - for a movie starring Denzel Washington (whose star had already blossomed at the time). This was a couple of years after his Oscar-nominated performance in Spike Lee's Malcolm X, and dueling underwater, on a US nuclear missile sub, with Gene Hackman in Crimson Tide.
And that's unfortunate because Carl Franklin's film is maybe the best work of his career, with its rich, shadowy depiction of life in post-World War II black America (set in LA), to the strong performances given by star Denzel Washington, as well as Don Cheadle's all-too memorable, and oh-so dangerous Mouse Alexander, as Easy's best friend, and more.
Washington plays Easy Rawlins, an aircraft factory worker who is laid off only to find his true calling: as a private eye, albeit an unlicensed one. Hired to find a missing woman, he becomes entangled in a complex but satisfying case involving sex, corruption, racism, and of course money.
Tom Sizemore plays a seedy character who tasks Easy with the job of finding the missing Daphne Monet (played by Jennifer Beals), the mistress of a powerful mayoral candidate.
From a complex, racially-charged web of intrigue, to double-crossings, blackmail, and mysterious deaths, the film has it all!
Tak Fujimoto's sun-soaked cinematography and a soundtrack reflecting the music of the times, wonderfully compliment.
And while the film wasn't widely-seen while in theaters in 1995, many would eventually find it on DVD, as it's become something of a classic. There never was a sequel, although this was a project that had "franchise" written all over it. Maybe if it had been a bigger theatrical hit... maybe not.
2 years ago, there was talk of an Easy Rawlins reboot, but as a TV series for the small screen, but nothing ever materialized.
So if you're one of those who hasn't seen it yet, and you have a Netflix streaming account, it's now available on that platform, as of this week.