The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Inside Man

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TechnoratiSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Judy Thorburn

Inside Man

Las Vegas Tribune - http://www.lasvegastribune.com
Las Vegas Round The Clock
- http://www.lasvegasroundheclock.com

The Women Film Critics Circle - http://www.wfcc.wordpress.com
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
">
kreatia@
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

INSIDE MAN- DESPITE GREAT CAST IS LOCKED IN FLAWED PLOT

At the basis of Spike Lee’s latest film, “Inside Man”, is a fresh and clever new take on a bank robbery that includes a lot of twists and turns. For sure, film buffs will find comparisons to Sidney Lument’s 1975 Dog Day Afternoon that starred Al Pacino about a bank robber/police standoff. But, the similarity ends at that. As Inside Man’s story enfolds first timer Russell Gervitz’s screenplay starts to unravel with recognizable flaws, plot holes and annoyances that left me disappointed by what evidently could have been a dynamite flick.

Lee has gathered together an impressive list of actors including Danzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster and Christopher Plummer, all at their best, in roles central to the story.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Inside Man, Clive Owen, Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Christopher Plummer

The film opens with Dalton Russell (Clive Owen, who, if I had my druthers, would have been picked as the next James Bond) looking directly into the camera explaining that he chooses his words very carefully. With that in mind, he tells the who, where, what, and how of his plans set in motion for the perfect bank robbery. It’s also one of the few times that we see Owen’s handsome face not hidden behind a white mask. But, let me not digress.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Inside Man, Clive Owen, Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Christopher Plummer

Next up, the setting is New York City, specifically the Manhattan Trust Bank where four characters dressed as painters in coveralls, masks and sunglasses barge in with guns and proceed to gather up everyone in the bank demanding that they strip down to underwear, give up all cell phones and keys, and change into the same get up as themselves. When the cops get wind of the situation that appears to be a bank robbery in progress with hostages in exchange for a get away car and plane, smooth Detective Keith Frazier (Washington) and his partner Bill Mitchell (the wonderful Chitwetel Ejiofor, starring in the upcoming Kinky Boots) are called in as negotiators. Yet, things are much more complicated than that. The criminals, led by mastermind, Dalton, seem in no hurry to leave nor are they anxious to break open the vault and grab the loot. Although threats are sent to kill a hostage if food and demands are not met, an underlying cause for abiding time slowly becomes apparent. Something more precious than money is the real focus. As time goes on in his battle of wits with the Inside Man, smart Detective Frazier begins to realize that there is more to this than meets the eye.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Inside Man, Clive Owen, Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Christopher Plummer

Moreover, when the head of the bank, Arthur Case (Plummer) learns that his branch is under siege, he sets out to hire someone with special skills, a well connected fixer of sorts for the ultra rich, to make sure that his safe deposit box and its values are protected and that a well hidden secret stays that way.

Enter Jodie Foster, hair tied back wearing stiletto heals and expensive suits, in tough as nails mode, as Madeline White (emphasis on “White”) the high priced, self assured facilitator expecting to earn her keep. Madeline’s actual job title is never made clear, nor is the reason why she is paid after being unsuccessful.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Inside Man, Clive Owen, Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Christopher Plummer

Even though I welcome the original and interesting approach to a well-worn genre with the entire cast at the top of their game, (especially Owen who gives a charismatic performance) there are way too many detracting elements or blatant discrepancies to create credibility among the so called, surprise twists. Lee implements occasional flash forward scenes filmed in gritty tones, of interrogations with former hostages after their release. But, it works just to tease us with questions about possible co-conspirators.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Inside Man, Clive Owen, Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Christopher Plummer

Another thing, and this isn’t a spoiler, there is no background given as to how the robbers learned about their target. In addition, are we to believe the cops are too stupid to realize they are listening in on a taped political speech by the deceased Albania President, rather than a live discussion? For a filmmaker who likes to lecture on racism in America, Spike Lee should be ashamed of himself for populating the movie with almost every possible New York racial and ethnic stereotype. The worst is his insulting, anti Semitic aim at Jews, reinforcing the negative belief that they are greedy, money hungry people who would sell their soul for a buck. No doubt, we know where Lee is coming from.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Inside Man, Clive Owen, Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Christopher Plummer

As it stands I can’t recommend this film. Too much Spike, and not enough credibility makes Inside Man an outsider, not on my must see list.