Monday, 12 September 2016
Inside Man (2006)
I almost gave this film a qualified recommendation, because I did quite enjoy it while I was watching it, but it is one of those movies where every time you think about it afterwards you spot a plot contrivance or idiot ball moment that saps a little of your enthusiasm for it.
We start with Dalton Castle, who is apparently in a prison cell. Despite this, he tells us he's carried out the "perfect" bank robbery. We then get to see said robbery. Dalton and his group enter the bank dressed as painters (including face masks), disable the cameras, and force all the staff and customers to dress in coveralls like their own. Despite their seemingly well-planned operation, however, they make no effort to keep the robbery secret and are soon sealed in by a force of over a hundred police.
Detective Frazier is the man assigned to lead the negotiations with Castle. The two men engage in a battle of wits, but Frazier has two complications on his plate. The first is that the bank's owner has hired Madeline White, a "fixer", to protect certain possessions of his that are stored at the bank. The second is that Castle isn't playing the game everyone thinks he is.
As I intimated above, Inside Man is an engaging thriller while you're watching it, but as we headed into the final fifteen minutes or so I found a number of niggling doubts about the plot popping up in my mind. Those doubts have multiplied as I've thought more about the film since it ended. I won't go into specifics since I think that would spoil any chance of you enjoying the film, but I will say that I think almost everything to do with the bank owner weakens the film - the exception is the acting, which is very good - and since that's a major component of the script, it rather sinks the movie for me.