Devil with a Blue Dress is perfectly well made, perfectly well scripted and exceedingly well acted; it’s just pretty boring…
It is 1948 and times are tough. Ezekiel ‘Easy’ Rawlins (Denzel Washington) is a smart cookie doing it tough due to his insistence on remaining law abiding. Through desperation Easy accepts a seemingly innocuous gig offered by a shady looking type (Tom Sizemore), that of locating the girlfriend of a politician.
Easy is chosen for the job as some sort of reverse racism bias, because the whitewoman requiring location prefers the company of people of colour, and Easy of course is at ease in such environs…
Not only does Easy find the woman, but he uncovers reasons for her location that go far beyond ‘missing you’, and he is sucked into a web of intrigue full of prominent local figures and some particularly dangerous men.
Again this all sounds more exciting than it turns out to be, and it is only in the latter stages when Easy is assisted by longtime friend Mouse (Don Cheadle) that the film finds an edge and a counter to Denzel’s perpetual smooth assuredness. Mouse is a loose cannon in every sense of the word, and after a ‘just sit tight’ order from Easy ends with an unnecessary body, Mouse pleads for forgiveness and understanding by asking “Then why would you leave him with me?”, as if it was all Easy’s fault.
Even with Mouse’s dangerous cameo Devil with the Blue Dress is a well made snoozer, another ‘easier to understand if told backwards’ tale with an unnecessarily twisty plot and negligible action.
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. Denzel might come off slick as grease and smooth as butter, but a film needs more than that to thrive.