Until the afternoon before seeing the movie, I had never heard of Inside Man. Despite Spike Lee directing, and Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, and Willem Dafoe acting, the marketing for this movie just passed me by…even the editorial marketing (reviews, etc.). Fortunately, two months after its release, it’s still showing at one theater in San Francisco.
Moments are noticeably slow at times, but it feels rare to see a good thriller these days, so I liked this movie. I walked out judging this movie against The Usual Suspects. Inside Man falls short, but then most every movie ever made does, so that I was even comparing the two is a good sign for Inside Man. Denzel Washington’s character saunters through the film…and it works. The cross-cutting of out-of-sequence interrogation scenes didn’t work for me at first, but as the main part of the film progressed, they made more sense. Jodie Foster’s character could be more interesting. But the deliberately shadowy nature of her role goes a bit too far into the fog. (I will say the product placement for a 30″ Apple Cinema Display worked well when her character was introduced.)
Funny juxtaposition regarding Christopher Plummer (playing Anthony Case, a character hiding his Nazi past) which I missed, but Anthony Lane did not.
The document in question, as we learn early in the film, shows that Arthur Case had links with the Nazis. This cannot be true, for one reason: he is played by Christopher Plummer, and, excuse me, but Christopher Plummer does not make friends with Nazis. He sings at them! He plays guitar at them! In a daring, nun-assisted escape, he flees from them over the hills with an annoying child on his back! Come on. [Anthony Lane in March 27, 2006 The New Yorker]
How could I forget the von Trapp Family Singers?!
The music was great, especially the opening track. Jaunty and energetic, but foreign. Terence Blanchard does the majority of the score, but the opening track is called “Chaiyya Chaiyya Bollywood Joint,” written by A.R. Rahman, Gulzar, Panjabi MC and performed by Sukhwinder Singh, Sapna Awasthi featuring Panjabi MC (according to Amazon). On iTunes, you have to buy the whole album. Or not. As many other possible customers commented, I will hope the Chaiyya Chaiyya track is released independently…and I’ll wait until then. South Asian hip-hop… the other film where I remember similar music was Bend It Like Beckham. Maybe this is another tune in the symphony of The World Is Flat?!
Metacritic score of 76 might be a touch low, but not more than a point or so.