Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Inside Man

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Inside Man

Article excerpt

INSIDE MAN Directed by Spike Lee (Universal, 2006)

Heist films come in two flavors: films noirs like The Asphalt Jungle and Dog Day Afternoon in which the well-laid plans of a crew of thieves unravel and implode, and cunning capers like To Catch a Thief and The Thomas Crown Affair in which a clever thief outwits both the cops and the audience. We like the first because bad guys should be punished. We like the second because we want our anti-heroes to get away.

With an edgy Hollywood outsider like Spike Lee directing this particular heist, the smart money might be on the noir genre, particularly since Inside Man has so many references to director Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon. Still, with heartthrob Clive Owen playing bank robber Dalton Russell, it seems unlikely audiences will applaud his demise.

Either way, the real pleasure of Lees film comes from the cat-and-mouse game between Russell and Denzel Washington's Detective Keith Frazier, an ambitious and savvy cop with plenty of smarts and cunning of his own. …

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