Sunday, July 09, 2006

Inside Man

When I saw Denzel Washington sportin' an odd-looking and unflattering pencil-thin mustache in his role as Detective Keith Frazier, I knew I would like this movie. Denzel does his best work when he doesn't look like a leading man. Muss up the man a bit by giving him a cheap-ass hair-cut and some thrift-store clothes, then stand back and watch the magic. And he delivers magic in Inside Man, which co-stars Clive Owen and is directed by Spike Lee.

Keith Frazier is a less-than-angelic detective who happens to get called in to negotiate the release of hostages being held by Owens' character, Dalton Russell. Russell is a smart bank robber who seems to have devised the perfect crime. Frazier becomes the negotiator by default, because the real negotiator is on vacation. The result is explosive action that is clever and believable. Spike Lee tells a great story in what is one of his more mainstream flicks; this movie isn't typical mainstream, though, in what it delivers. It is smart, inventive, well acted and most importantly, it never sells out. The characters remain true to themselves and the plot throughout.

Inside Man is a terrific movie, one that keeps you interested, makes you think and lets you enjoy some popcorn all at the same time. ***1/2

5 comments:

Donutbuzz said...

Welcome back! I've missed your posts!

I usually enjoy Spike Lee's movies and had been wondering what he'd been up to lately. This is good news.

The Film Geek said...

Thanks! It's good to be back.

Inside Man is killer! Hope you enjoy it.

jedi jawa said...

This movie tricked me. I didn't know a lot about it except that it had Denzel who must have a terrible agent as half his films suck and half a really good. The lights dimmed and the credits came up and I was suprised to see that it was a Spike Lee film, thus breaking my streak of having never seen a Spike Lee movie (not because they aren't good, I just haven't been interested). I agree with you that this is an awesome film that really doesn't follow the mold of the typical heist film (of which there are so many).

Ian C. said...

TFG, what did you think of Jodie Foster's performance? I've read some who have said she's terrible and her character is kind of undefined. I thought it was the best thing she's done in quite a while.

And I LOVED that Indian-style music mix at the beginning of the film!

The Film Geek said...

Ian: I left out Foster's performance for one reason...While I thought her performance was very good, I thought the character and the plot twists that came from it was unnecessary. The movie would have been great without the events that came about because of her.