Inside Man (16-May-2006)
Director: Spike Lee
Writer: Russell Gewirtz
Keywords: Crime, Bank Robbery, Hostage Situation, Nazis, New York
A New York City bank robber's heist dissolves into a fragile hostage situation involving a police detective and top-flight stockbroker.
Criminal mastermind Dalton Russell plans and executes an ostensibly foolproof robbery of a major Manhattan bank from a prison cell, making quick work of the facility's security system with the help of his gang and taking hostages if need be. Soon enough, however, the heist predictably devolves into a chaotic situation involving an area stockbroker and local authorities, lending itself to a highly personal tale examining the motives and unspoken troubles of the significant "actors" in the standoff over a twenty-four hour period of time.
Review by anonymous (posted on 11-Jan-2007)
Used to be, a Spike Lee joint was a political and social statement from opening titles to final MPAA tag. Whether or not you agreed with Lee's politics, you had to admire his moxie and his ability to make a film around his beliefs. INSIDE MAN is not such a film. Oh, the political and social jabs are there...but they're blunt and useless. Even worse, they're pointless. Someone forgot to tell Mr. Lee that he was making a silly, action-less, lustreless bank heist film and not, well, any of his other films. INSIDE MAN plays like a particularly cheesy episode of an old 70s TV cop drama, complete with overly dramatic (and bombastic) 70s TV cop drama score. Interesting characters are introduced, developed a little, and cast aside in the frenzied effort to make this uninteresting caper something that it's not: a commentary on conscience, morality, and business ethics. Even the more than occasional accusation that the NYPD, in this post-9/11 world, hate anyone with a turban is never explored beyond the same old perjorative. Ultimately, the film ends and the viewer is forced to pronounce it as the dirtiest of all words to describe a Spike Lee joint: Silly. (D+)
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