I’ll be honest – I’m not really much of a Spike Lee fan. It’s not that his films aren’t well done, it’s just that he typically has directed movies that just don’t interest me. That was not the case with Inside Man, a movie about a bank heist that is not quite what it seems.
I will now appropriate a paragraph describing the movie from a message board which I read: Crimson Tide (Denzel Washington) and Serenity (Chiwetel Ejiofor) have to negotiate the release of hostages that Croupier (Clive Owen) is keeping inside a bank owned by Star Trek VI (Christopher Plummer) , who’s hiding something mysterious in the vault and hires Flightplan (Jodie Foster) to retrieve it for him; meanwhile, Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) and his SWAT team are just itching to storm the place before King Arthur (Clive Owen) has the last laugh.
Ok, so you basically get the idea, right? There are a few twists and turns, and the movie plays through in a very straightforward manner, with moments of tension and drama. What is interesting is that none of the characters are straight up “good guys”. Dafoe’s character is bigoted (no surprise for a Spike Lee movie, right?), Foster’s character is morally ambivalent, and even Washington’s character is willing to put ambition ahead of morality. Interestingly enough, it’s Clive Owen’s bank robber who seems to have a bit of a conscience.
Terence Blanchard’s score is good, and I enjoyed the overall look and feel of the film. Be sure to stay through the end credits; it’s one of the few films I can think of that credits all of the musicians! In a nutshell, Inside Man is a refreshing oasis in the otherwise arid desert of Hollywood springtime.