It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
The boss is named Mr. B. and he walks around with a dead cigar stuck in his face, pleading "Wash the cars! Wash the cars!" But that's the last thing they get around to in "Car Wash," a sunny, lively comedy.
The movie covers a day in the life of the DeLuxe Car Wash, down from the Strip in Los Angeles, and by actual count only three totally sane people stop by all day. We meet the rest in a dizzying, nonstop kaleidoscope of cars, soul music, characters, crises, crazy kids on skateboards, hookers, television preachers, and lots of suds and hot wax -- not to mention the Mad Pop Bottle Bomber, whose bottle turns out to be a cruel disappointment. The movie's put together with a manic energy, we never even quite get introduced to half the people in the cast, but by the movie's end we know them, and what they're up to, and we like them.
We meet the employees of the car wash in the locker room, as they're putting on their work clothes. Floyd and Lloyd enter doing their James Brown imitation. T.C. is convinced he'll be the lucky caller to win the free concert tickets in a radio station giveaway. Lindy, probably the first drag queen employed full-time by a car wash, corrects his makeup. Lonnie, the straw boss, provides an element of sanity, but he's outnumbered.
Sooner or later during the day, everyone seems to come through the car wash. While Floyd and Lloyd, as the steam men, practice their stage act on astonished customers, we watch the parade go by. George Carlin plays a bewildered taxi driver. Professor Irwin Corey is briefly mistaken for the Mad Pop Bottle Bomber. A limousine a yard long wheels up and discharges Richard Pryor, as Daddy Rich, the famous television evangelist. He has his backup singers with him: the Pointer Sisters, who do a number right in front of the gas pumps.