Inside Man/Spike Lee

I was impressed with ‘Inside Man.’ The plot is pretty silly, and there is at least one enormous gaping plot hole (which renders much of the intrigue irrelevant), but this is a superior action movie/thriller. It is absolutely enthralling; not a moment seems wasted or dull. Denzel Washington is a joy to watch, and he plays well off all the other actors, esp. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Clive Owen (but not Jodie Foster, who is wasted), and makes them raise their game. He is so damn relaxed. The scenes where hostages are being interviewed after the heist is over are superb: funny, clever, full of little details that become relevant later (chewing gum). I am not really enough of a Spike Lee fan to say what makes this a distinctively Spike Lee Joint. Certainly the attention to race is unusual in a movie this kind, and the lighting and changing grain of the film betray some real craft. But since ‘25th Hour’ is my favorite Spike Lee film, I am not qualified to place this among his other work. Regardless, this is a highly competent movie, and a fine way to spend two hours.

One of the previews was for ‘Flight 93′ which I’m dreading because of the political/patriotic baggage that it will carry. But it is directed by Paul Greengrass, which might save the movie.