Inside Man Review




It’s curious to see Spike Lee do a straight caper movie. The movie is absent Lee’s usual politics, though there are occasional glimpses of his sensibilities.

I suppose that the inherent nature of the movie is political due to the fact that people like the protagonist of this movie – Mr Chase (Ever heard of Chase Manhatten Bank?) the Nazi Murdering Thief, like in Inglorious Basterds, is still at large in society, rich and honoured.

Its not possible to say much about American Presidents as it is dangerous to do so. This movie came out in 2006 at the end of an era and was as much as anyone could say.

Anyway, the cast is great – Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer and Willem Dafoe are all top-drawer actors.

One reviewer wonders why these top actors should waste themselves on a caper movie like this. Well perhaps it is not just a caper movie. There is something it has to teach.

The clever twist the plot adds is that the bank robbers dress everybody up in the same masks and jump suits that they themselves are wearing. So if the police raid the bank, they’ll have a difficult time figuring who the bad guys are.

This element of the plot goes back to Ingourious Basterds – As Brad Pitt says at the end of that movie, “How am I going to know that you are a Nazi when I see you back in America?” as he carves a swastika with his Bowie Knife into the head of the collaborator.

Clive Owen and the robbers are clearly up to something that becomes apparent during the course of the film. They are particularly interested in the safety deposit box of the bank CEO, Mr Chase. Mr Chase is a Jew who stole a lot of money from Jews who went to the concentration camps to die during the second world war,  played by Christopher Plummer. Jodie Foster is brought in by him to protect “his interests”.  This really did happen during the war and many families in charge of banks got rich in this way.

Mr Chase has committed an awful deed in his past and the only way of him being incriminated in the future is if he keeps hold of a piece of paper with the evidence on it. So…he keeps it. Come on!! Anyone with half a brain would have burnt it immediately!

As in many movies this fantasy element is brought in to show that this is a fantasy. The real psychopathic thieves all got away with it and are still rich and evil in society now.

And this is the point. Due to some fantastically clever detective work, the evil Psychopathic Nazi gets his just deserts.

This has never happened in real reality.

This type of fantasy is a constant element in all Spike Lee movies and most others. The fantasy is real! NOT!!

The dramatic end of the movie is brilliant. Spike Lee had a stroke of genius when he puts in the scene Jodie Foster’s character. She adds security and irony to the brilliant movie. There isn’t one scene in the movie unworthy of notice- Spike Lee gives us an amazing plot twist.

The casting for “Inside Man” is perfect. Never has a movie had so much fine performances as this one. Clive Owen deserves an award for his ironic, self-promoting, clever Dalton Russell. He shows intense emotion even though through a mask. Masked men can have stupendous performances, something Mr. Owen and Mr. Weaving (V for Vendetta) prove to us.

Denzel Washington has never been so vivid – he doesn’t even need to act. He is perfect as the detective in charge of taking care of the case. Chiwetel Ejifor and Willem Dafoe are stupendous, while Christopher Plummer adds some experience to the movie. Jodie Foster is awarded one of the best roles in her career, and her magnificent performance only serves to show everyone she’s still in the mood for cinema.

Spike Lee proves he’s still got it with the excellent “Inside Man”. With a marvelous casting, wonderful pacing, and powerful scenes, this proves to be Spike Lee’s greatest film ever made. Congratulations, Spike, and welcome back.——-10/10

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