Saturday, August 12, 2006

Inside Man: Grade D


Inside Man

Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster. Director Spike Lee

With all that talent, how can a project go so wrong? It’s a traditional bank heist movie, and the photography, script and directing are as clichéd as you can imagine. Crooks disguised as painters, SWAT team and snipers surround the building, hostage negotiator DW plays cat and mouse by phone with bad guy CO. Seen it all before. The first half is like a really poor remake of Dog Day Afternoon. Then the story line takes a couple of implausible twists. Christopher Plummer is old, I admit, but there is no way he would have been head of a bank in 1940. Jodie Foster snaps her lines like a smart-alec, but does no real acting. The story is full of holes and the characters are unmotivated. There are a couple of creative moves by Spike Lee, one where DW walks or glides to his fate, and the interrogation room, which is done in a different kind of film stock or something to indicate flashforward. Why doesn’t he do the right thing with his creativity?

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