April 1, 2016

Inside Man

Spike Lee, 2006
Spike Lee's bank heist action thriller makes you wish that he would make more action thrillers. It's interesting to see a New York City bank robbery through Lee's eyes. Police egos battling over who has authority or who they have to answer to. Bystanders of all walks of life who seem to have nothing but time to stand beside a police barricade. And inside the bank, methodical robbers led by (Clive Owen) who seem to be three steps ahead of everyone.

The stellar camera work is immediately evident as you are shown New York Architecture. The movie really never fails to be easy on the eyes. With Denzel and Owen playing two opposing forces at odds with each other, the veteran acting is surely going to fuel the story. Every casting choice in the film feels good, EXCEPT Jodie Foster. As skilled as she is, as capable as she is, its a bit difficult to picture her in this role as some diabolically calculating female force. With Foster a sly grin isn't all that threatening. 

It gets to a point in the film where you really do not know how hings are going to play out. Is Detective Frazier is going to catch these guys and have his career moment. Or is Russell going to be sitting on a beach drinking pina coladas like he had promised? You really do not know. Its really a debate as to who you think is sharper. The cop or the robber? Spike Lee can be a divisive filmmaker for sure but Inside Man is one of his films likely to please most. While he typically makes loud statements on race and police culture, that voice is not so pronounced here. Not much to pick apart negatively with this movie. It's fresh, solid, well-acted, well-shot. Just a well rounded film and goes down as one of the better bank heist movies made. 

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