The film opens with Clive Owen describing the obvious
nature of a bank heist. The bank robbery takes place
and hostages are taken. As the hostages are shifted
from room to room, the perspectives of the person sitting
next to you in the movie theatre may also change.
One can easily side with the perspective of the
leading man, Denzel Washington. He plays a detective with a
questionable past that must negotiate with Clive
Owens’s character. He seems to be a worthy
protagonist to Clive Owen, until Washington’s
character gets outwitted at several key moments.
Jodie Foster and Christopher Plummer have a macro
perspective of this bank heist on the corner of Wall
Street and Broadway. Foster is a facilitator who
knows how to get things done with political
connections in high places. Plummer has a secret in
the bank in which he hopes the robbers do not
discover. Willem Dafoe is the overanxious Police
Captain who wants to gas the crime scene.
Director Spike Lee has created a good movie by
divorcing himself from his limited urban elitist
perspective. This time Spike Lee focuses on creative
story telling with keen attention to detail. Lee
follows the successful techniques of the "Heist" genre and
adds his own personal touches. "Inside Man" is a
welcome blend of David Niven sophistication with
urban street smarts.
Denzel Washington gives a performance with disarming
charm. In a strong supporting role with limited
screen time, Jodie Foster provides a relaxed
performance of a woman with intense power. Best known
as the Goth Chick from "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch
2", Kim Director portrays a hostage with a very
identifiable double D-Size bust that provides an
obvious clue to the robbery.
As the "Inside Man," Clive Owen proves to be a
trustworthy adversary to Denzel Washington. He
maintains the delicate balance between being cool and
being cold. It is a deadpan delivery that pays
dividends when the "Inside Man" has a discussion with
an 8 year old boy about violent video games.
While modern in nature,
“Inside Man” relies on the conventions of Edgar Allen
Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sometimes the best place
to hide something is to keep it in plane sight. "Inside Man"
is entertaining and should not be missed
when it comes out on DVD.