From ten years ago, it’s In the Electric Mist, starring Tommy Lee Jones and John Goodman. This is a mystical crime thriller set in Cajun country, with forays into New Orleans. It’s streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Details are from Wikipedia. Here is a list of the main cast:
- Tommy Lee Jones as Dave Robicheaux
- John Goodman as Julie ‘Baby Feet’ Balboni
- Peter Sarsgaard as Elrod Sykes
- Kelly Macdonald as Kelly Drummond
- Mary Steenburgen as Bootsie Robicheaux
- Justina Machado as Rosie Gomez
- Ned Beatty as Twinky LeMoyne
- James Gammon as Ben Hebert
- Pruitt Taylor Vince as Lou Girard
- Levon Helm as Gen. John Bell Hood
- Bernard Hocke as Murphy Doucet
- Alana Locke as Alafair Robicheaux
- Buddy Guy as Sam “Hogman” Patin
- Chukwuma Onwuchekwa as Dewitt Prejean
- John Sayles as Michael Goldman
This is about people who were killed in the past and people getting killed in the movie. In Louisiana’s Iberia Parish, Sheriff Detective Robicheaux is an alcoholic who strives to avoid drinking. Here he leaves the bar with his drink untouched.
He drives to a place in the Atchafalaya Swamp where the body of a young woman has been discovered. She was murdered in a most sadistic way.
The next day, Robicheaux has an encounter with screen actor Elrod Sykes and his girlfriend Kelly Drummond. He is in town to film a movie set in the Civil War. He is definitely over the limit, and there is the odor of smoked pot.
Elrod gets a walk, because he can point to a place in the swamp he saw a body. The next day they boat out to the place, showing some of that majestic swamp scenery.
It turns out, Robicheaux witnessed the murder from a distance decades earlier, but there was never a resolution. Now he intends to bring closure. Apparently the victim was a black man accused of assaulting a white woman. He was jailed, sprung from jail, and gunned down in the swamp.
Robicheaux connects the escapee’s murder to the most recent crime, and he pays a visit to local mobster Julie ‘Baby Feet’ Balboni, a former friend. Balboni lives in wealth and debauchery. This commences a program of harassment meant to shake up the mobster.
Robicheaux continues to encounter Elrod and fails to convince him to put aside his drunken ways.
Another body is discovered, this time in a barrel on a levee. Robicheaux’s partner Lou Girard joins the case.
Robicheaux continues to press Balboni, spotting his limo blocking a fire hydrant and flattening the tires before having the car towed.
At a lawn party thrown by the movie production company Robicheaux sips Dr. Pepper. Something must have been in the drink.
We see Robicheaux driving home erratically in the dark and winding up in the swamp, where he encounters the apparition of a Confederate army camp and General John Bell Hood. They converse. The general gives Robicheaux life advice.
FBI Agent Rosie Gomez has joined the case. At the hospital she advises that traces of LSD were found in a blood sample.
Robicheaux gets a phone call from a woman calling herself Amber. She tells him to meet her at a bar. She has information. Robicheaux has Lou come to watch the back entrance in case this is an ambush. Amber never shows, but when Robicheaux starts to leave two gunshots come from a parked car. He puts eight rounds from his pistol into the car, but when he and Lou go to check it out the dead person is a woman named Martinez. Further, she was dead before being placed in the car. Somebody is out to get Robicheaux.
Robicheaux has his final conversation with General Hood. Lou is found dead from a shotgun blast, supposedly suicide. Robicheaux suspects murder.
Elrod, drunk as usual, takes a boat out into the swamp with Kelly. When he gets it caught up he calls for help, and Robicheaux goes to assist. It’s raining, everybody is getting soaked, and they do not notice a car parked on the shore. The driver’s side window goes down.
Robicheaux lends Kelly his hoodie before she goes topside. A bullet from the car strikes her in the chest. It was meant for Robicheaux.
Robicheaux comes to suspect security guard Murphy Doucet in the death of “DeWitt Prejean, the skeleton found in the swamp.” He pays a visit to Doucet’s place, where he plants evidence he will use to get a search warrant.
The search turns up nothing and Doucet is sprung on bail. He phones Robicheaux to tell him he is holding his daughter, Alafair. He wants Robicheaux to back off, but Robicheaux responds by teaming with Gomez, and they pay Balboni a visit. Robicheaux beats Balboni with a baseball bat, handcuffs him to a post, and threatens him with a shotgun as Gomez looks on in dismay.
Balboni gives up the location of Doucet’s cabin in the swamp, and Robicheaux and Gomez drive out there, prepared for action.
They search, guns drawn.
Surprises Gomez, and she shoots him. But he is unarmed. Robicheaux plants a pistol in his hand, and Gomez avoids prosecution.
Robicheaux pays a visit to one of the perpetrators of the Prejean murder, Twinkie LeMoyne. This is decades after the event, and LeMoyne is now a prosperous sugar manufacturer. LeMoyne wants bygones to be bygones, but Robicheaux reminds him that his past will always be with him.
Alafair and her mother get parts as extras in the civil war movie.
The film features stunning location shots
Amazon Video X-Ray points out some goofs. Hood is depicted (and portrayed by) and old codger. He died at the age of 48. I was born and raised in Hood County, Texas, and Fort Hood is named after the general.
It was never clear to me how the sniper arranged to get into position to kill Robicheaux (killing Kelly, instead). This is the swamp. How would the sniper know where Elrod was stranded? How would he get there in a car?
We have previously seen Tommy Lee Jones in the John Grisham thriller, The Client and in one of the Men in Black features. From Wikipedia I learn he lives a few miles from my house, obviously in a better neighborhood.
“Electric Mist” has the appearance of a contrived name. I could think of better titles.