27 March 2006

A new joint...

Inside Man: 3.75 Stars. Color me impressed. I've always been ambivalent to Spike Lee's work. I really enjoyed Do The Right Thing way back when, but I guess I'm not really the target audience for the lion's share of his films. I do, however, enjoy a good caper flick -- especially a cerebral one, and this is a very good caper flick. The movie unfolds alot like an episode of Hu$tle, the excellent British con artist drama, in that a whole lot of seemingly unrelated events take place. Then the threads start to intertwine, some subtlely and some not exactly time-linear, as the centerpiece bank robbery unfolds. Really everything about this film is pitch-perfect, from the plots to the dialogue to the sets to the exceptional and sometimes jarring camera work to the truly excellent acting. I've been a fan of Chiwetel Ejiofor ever since Dirty Pretty Things, and I imagine this film will set him up to be the next Laurence Fishburne. Spike Lee also plays with the race card a bit, but it's so deftly woven into the film that it doesn't come off as preachy in the slightest. (Really, who's got it worse than the Sikhs these days?) The only negative I can ascribe to this excellent film is that it starts to drag a bit at times, but I bet come Oscar time, Spike won't be forgotten.

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