Inside Man

DVD Reviews | Aug 16th, 2006

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Starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Plummer, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Written By: Russell Gewirtz
Directed By: Spike Lee
Studio: Universal
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Spike Lee’s first attempt at the “Heist” genre and I must say, it was a great effort. Entertaining, exciting, and a plot filled with twists and turns. The Director and Screenwriter (Gewirtz) give homage to heist films in the past like Dog Day Afternoon, and what comes out on the other end is a modern day heist film that stands together with the classics of our time.

Denzel Washington and Clive Owen star as Detective Keith Fraser, and Dalton Russell, respectively. Both play excellent characters as they match wits on how to outdo each other. It’s obvious as the story progresses both are a smarter than they both anticipated. Dalton has planned the perfect bank heist from Manhattan Trust in NYC, and standing in his way is Detective Keith Fraser and his partner, Det. Bill Mitchell (Ejiofor.) Both are the hostage negotiators for the police department, because Dalton is holding more than 20 hostages that were at the bank at the time of the holdup. It’s really unclear for most of the movie exactly why Dalton has chosen this particular bank. There is obviously lots of money, and personal belongings to take, but for Dalton he wanted the cops to show up as well. Christopher Plummer plays Arthur Case, owner of the Manhattan Trust and many others in the area. He is a respected man in the industry and very wealthy. He reacts to the news of the bank’s holdup suspiciously. Arthur Case then gets in touch with Jodie Foster’s character, Madeline White, a real bitch on wheels that is a freelance consultant of sorts. She generally acts as a liaison between her high powered clients and whatever mess they are into.

During the course of the movie, the film jumps ahead and interchanges cuts from the interrogation of the hostages, all of which were the only one’s apprehended. I thought this was a great idea, because while the heist/hostage situation is still going on, we start to see Fraser and Mitchell interrogate everyone. This gives the viewer a glimpse into what is going to happen in the near future, and what might have gone wrong. These scenes also add some humor to the movie, which it needed because sometimes it’s very intense inside the bank. My favorite scene was when the detectives had a hard time making eye contact with a female suspect. Hey, I would have been caught doing the same thing; but honestly, any guy would find it hard to look away.

As a viewer, in the sense, you want to root for both Clive Owen and Denzel Washington’s characters. Here, Dalton has come up with the perfect bank heist and is set to stand with a very lucrative outcome. At the same time, Detective Fraser has hit a bumpy road with his Department. From a prior case, $140,000 has gone missing and everyone on the force thinks Fraser took the money. He is out to exonerate that claim, at the same time stay in the good graces of his bosses by trying to bring down a huge bank heist/hostage situation. In the end, you want both of them to win. There wasn’t a clear winner/loser in this movie. I think it really works that way. The cast worked really great as well. I was impressed with Lee’s take on a modern day heist film, and believe it or not, really haven’t seen too many of his movies. I just hope he continues to make films like this, and I’ll be sure to check them out.

As far as Extras go, 25 minutes of deleted scenes give us a deeper look at the hostage interviews with Fraser and Mitchell, some extended sequences, some new stuff. Also, gives a few more scenes with Fraser and Willem Dafoe’s character. I can see why they were cut but were cool to check out anyway. The other 2 features are a “Making Of” and “4” which is a one on one with Spike Lee and Denzel Washington reminiscing over the 4 movies they made together over the years. Don’t forget to check out the Spike Lee Commentary during the film.

-Over 25 Minutes of Deleted Scenes
-Number 4: From Mo’ Better Blues to Malcolm X, director Spike Lee and actor Denzel Washington discuss their creative collaborations from the past up to this thriller.
-Feature Commentary with Director Spike Lee
-The Making of Inside Man: Go deeper into the action with this exclusive behind-the-scenes footage! Optional English DVS 5.1

-ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
-SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
-FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1

-Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)

English, French, Spanish

Favorite Scenes: Initial Hold Up, Mastermind vs. Detective, Jail Cell, Hostage Interviews
Rating: R
Running Time: 129 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: