Alphabet Review: (I)nside Man

My name is Dalton Russell. Pay strict attention to what I say because I choose my words carefully and I never repeat myself. I’ve told you my name: that’s the Who. The Where could most readily be described as a prison cell. But there’s a vast difference between being stuck in a tiny cell and being in prison. The What is easy: recently I planned and set in motion events to execute the perfect bank robbery. That’s also the When. As for the Why: beyond the obvious financial motivation, it’s exceedingly simple… because I can. Which leaves us only with the How; and therein, as the Bard would tell us, lies the rub.

What you see above is one of the greatest opening lines in a film, and it’s followed up with an even greater story—‘Inside Man’.  Written by Russell Gewirtz and directed by Spike Lee, ‘Inside Man’ is an energetic and sophisticated bank-heist thriller that has all the components of a Spike Lee joint. Without being too in your face like Lee’s previous films, ‘Inside Man’ subtly touches on race and class but it never strays from the cat and mouse formula that makes it so captivating.

Academy Award winner Denzel Washington portrays Detective Keith Frazier, a hostage negotiator who is facing corruption charges. Clive Owen deliciously plays Dalton Russell, the lead bank robber who manages to pull off a perfect crime, and Jodie Foster portrays a power broker who only makes the situation between Frazier and Russell more complicated. Christopher Plummer and Willem Dafoe also star.

Like most films ‘Inside Man’ has its flaws, but its a near perfect film. And although Washington is in his usual element, Owen is the man who carries this film with a flawless performance.  From start to finish ‘Inside Man’ will keep you guessing and leaves you with questions well after the film is over.

Great movie and highly recommended.

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