"Crime Pays, If You Have a Heart"
What You Need To Know:
INSIDE MAN fails to hit the mark, despite the efforts of such talents as Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Clive Owen, and Christopher Plummer. While not without its entertaining moments, the movie’s narrative contains too many holes, and many of the script’s vague details have to be completed by the audience’s imagination. Despite a light moral worldview which says that everyone will be held accountable for their actions, the movie's harsh foul language, immoral content and politically correct elements make it difficult to enjoy. MOVIEGUIDE®, therefore, advises extreme caution
(B, Ro, Pa, PC, LLL, VV, S, M) Light moral worldview, which says that everyone will be held accountable for their actions and that includes elements such as honesty and integrity in work, despite urgings to hide the truth, mitigated by Romantic and pagan elements shown in a "getting what’s mine" attitude and the love of money, as well as bank robbers end up being justified, and politically correct views as prejudices are identified and challenged and police and government end up being vilified; more than 45 obscenities and three profanities, most of which are expressed with strong exclamation; significant violence as police identify different possible scenarios (including depicted shootings of men and women) of charging bank robbers in attempts to save the hostages, explosions and gunshots, man being beaten behind a glass wall, extremely violent display of a video game shown with shooting and blowing up victim with grenade but main bank robber expresses disgust at violent video game, as he is holding many others hostage by gun point; depicted seduction as unmarried couple communicates sexual desire with hints towards light sadomasochism; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking; and, man relies on integrity and reputation to defend against false accusation of stealing money, vigilante theme as bank robber justifies his robbery because owner of bank “sold his soul” for money, and real estate agent willing to sell property to Bin Laden’s nephew.
INSIDE MAN, directed by Spike Lee, is a crime drama that follows the showdown between a meticulous bank robber and a fastidious cop.
Dalton Russell (played by Clive Owen) is an intelligent burglar determined to perform the perfect heist. Because of his studied and calculated research, Russell has managed to stay a step ahead of the pursuits of determined detective Keith Frazier (played by Denzel Washington). Circumstances force Frazier to solicit the assistance of a high-profile hostage negotiator Madeline White (Jodie Foster), who, despite her impressive track record, proves to add yet another element of risk to an already volatile situation. If all goes according to Russell’s airtight plan, the heist may go down as one of the most elaborate robberies ever executed.
While INSIDE MAN has its entertaining moments, the movie fails to hit the mark, despite the efforts of such talents as Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Clive Owen, Christopher Plummer, and Willem Defoe. The narrative contains too many holes, and many of the script’s vague details have to be completed by the audience’s imagination. For example, how does Russell find out about the history of the bank owner and the placement of his guarded treasure?
The movie’s message seems to be that good prevails over evil, even if it means that the good guys are the bank robbers. Some of the leaders in the police force are both disorganized and dishonest, and are willing to cover up a crime for a price and/or promotion. They lack unity, and often place their focus on challenging one another’s authority, rather than considering newly presented information that can help bring the robber to justice.
The mayor also lacks integrity and judgment, and is willing to be manipulated by Madeline, who poses as a real estate agent and can be bought for a price. In this movie, the bank robbers end up being glorified, and the police and governments are vilified. The bank owner makes a statement that basically is summed up by saying that he sold his soul as a young and stupid entrepreneur and has spent the rest of his life doing good to try to buy it back. Regrettably, he is willing to manipulate the government, lie and deceive in order to cover up his misdeeds.
Even though Denzel Washington’s character is a man in pursuit of justice, he is also portrayed as driven by self-interest rather than justice. The villian and the cop seem to share a common ground, however, and this relationship is probably the most complex and enjoyable.
INSIDE MAN’s graphic obscenities and violent content make the movie difficult to enjoy. INSIDE MAN has a light moral worldview which says that everyone will be held accountable for their actions. This positive worldview is mitigated by the harsh obscenities and the movie’s other immoral elements, plus its politically correct content. MOVIEGUIDE®, therefore, advises extreme caution.