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Inside Man

Title: Inside Man

Director: Spike Lee

Stars: Denzel Washington ; Clive Owen ; Jodie Foster

Reviewer: Matt Eccles

Rating (out of 10): 5


Widely regarded as Spike Lee’s most commercial film to date, Inside Man has an intriguing premise, a tremendous cast, a generous amount of snappy lines but a story that, in the end, loses its way.

Denzel Washington, a familiar face in Lee’s films, is Detective Keith Fraser, who is called in to negotiate with Dalton Russell, played by Clive Owen, who is holding up a bank with a “perfect robbery” and possibly has agenda that go beyond simple avarice. Also in the mix is bank owner Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer), who ropes in Madeleine White (Jodie Foster, in an underwritten and inconsequential role) to help get him out of what seems a bigger mess than it appears.

Screenwriter Russell Gewirtz’s debut feature script has great promise but, unfortunately, his tale fizzles out disappointingly in the last third, hence the climax has the dreaded is-that-it? feel. However, if his next effort contains half as many sharp lines as this but manages to keep the story’s tempo ticking with spark and vigour until its conclusion, then he will certainly be a name to watch.

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