Published Mar 12, 2007The twist at the heart of Inside Man is that its a heist film without a heist. Clive Owen plays the mysterious meany who seizes control of a Manhattan bank and takes hostages, but detective Denzel Washington has a devil of a time trying to figure out what hes really up to. Trouble is, director Spike Lee is so used to conducting talk fests that he forgets to inject any genuine suspense into the genre flick, even one thats supposed to be turned on its head. Thankfully he hired long-time collaborator Terence Blanchard to pen the score, which helps drive the action in ways that Lee fails to do, recalling great 70s soundtracks like David Shires work in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. Cinematographer Matthew Libatique (Requiem For a Dream) and a thousand crane shots animate the script by first-timer Russell Gewirtz. With all the talent around him the killer cast also includes Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Plummer and Chiwetel Ejiofor its little wonder that Spike Lees name was left out of the film's marketing campaign. Nonetheless, as always, Lees love of his native NYC is evident in every frame, and he pays more than one specific homage to Dog Day Afternoon. Inside Man never adds up to the sum of its parts, but the originality of the script alone makes it worthwhile. Plus: deleted scenes, Spike Lee and Denzel Washington in conversation, "making of featurette, directors commentary.