Monday, December 4, 2006

Inside Man...a Spike Lee Joint

Inside Man
Rating: 7.3

In the latest of Spike Lee's creations we find Denzel Washington playing a NYC police detective with a checkered past. (Are there any NYC police detectives who don't have a checkered past?)He is being investigated for check fraud. Despite this, his boss decides to send him to negotiate an extremely dangerous hostage situation. Several Manhattanites are being held hostage in a bank robbery. The robbers (one of them is the dreamy Clive Owen from Closer) have decided to blur the boundaries of physical identification by forcing the hostages to dress like them in painters overalls and masks. Smart. You don't find out exactly what they are after until a little into the film. Not the money. Turns out the bank president has something very valuable and potentially damning stashed in the bank's vault. Jodie Foster plays this super gutsy power broker he hires to somehow fix things. But, the robbers know about it too. When a glitch in the operation causes the robbers to bail, they escape by releasing the hostages, and walking out along with them in a smoke screen. With everyone in costume, the police are left figuring out who the bad guys are by interviewing each and every one. Now it's clear why this is a Spike Lee film. When good and bad mix together it's pretty interesting who seems suspicious and who doesn't. The whole story is told by one of the robber's from his cell, so you know they figured it out. But how? Why is he calling it the perfect crime? There are a lot of unanswered mysteries that slowly reveal themselves. It's a little too long for me (189 minutes, which is probably not that long for most.), but it makes you think. I like that.

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