With so many famous and talented actors, they couldn't go wrong with this movie, right? I mean, just look at the cast on this movie. But sometimes, a great cast with many colorful and complicated background is not a guarantee to make this film a good film. Don't get me wrong, this movie is okay. Au contraire, sometimes simple is great. It really depends how the audience preceive this movie.
When well-organized robbers, led by the highly intelligent Dalton Russel (Clive Owen) takes hostages in a Manhattan Bank, NYPD Detectives Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) and Detective Mitchell (Chiwetel Ejiofor) are assigned. It's not long before the bank's owner (Christopher Plummer) surfaces with ruthless playmaker Madeline White (Jodie Foster) to do his bidding to retreive a valuable trinket inside the bank before anyone finds out what it is.
This is one of the movies that directed by Spike Lee, who usually contrived with controversial movies. But apparently, this is the safest film he's ever made. A pure genre flick, deftly taking inspiration from great heist films. It is carefully planned and crafted in sharp detail. Personally, not a really good Spike Lee's movie. Playing straight could be different. I am not saying this movie is bad, but different from the previous Spike Lee's movies like Malcolm X and Do The Right Thing. This film is a bit on the side of mainstream -- crime drama and thrown in a bit action. Very different from his political/social issues/drama films that he usually directed. Yes, this film also touches on contemporary issues such as the treatment of Arabs after 9/11 and also contains dollops of NYC humor. The script is okay, there are funny and memorable quotes here and there. What I don't understand is the feeling I had after I watched this movie. If this movie is trying to say something, then I didn't hear or feel anything. To me, this film is nothing but a mainstream crime/action/drama flick. Not to mention the plot seems complicated, with many flashbacks which a bit confusing if you don't know who is who.
The cast are great, I mean they are given everything. Although I don't like some of the performances from Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster who I think seems forceful. Their characters aren't likeable, even they are the protagonists one. Jodie Foster really played a very good bitch. When the Mayor (Peter Kybart) called her a "cunt" and she only smiled, I got the feeling she enjoyed it. The role of Captain John Darius (Willem Dafoe) should be played by any actor, because it's such a waste of talent of an actor to appeared in so little scenes. Clive Owen's performance was also a bit down in a cold side, and not to mention his face was covered all the time. Too bad. A bit in a surprising tone was during the opening and closing scenes, there was a Hindi music played with the title "Chaiyya Chaiyya". First time I heard it, I thought I was in a wrong movie and thought I was watching a Bollywood movie! The movie has a dark secret and twisting plot, which I didn't actually expected it. But the flaw is when everything is been done; with the heist, the time consuming, the exchange between the cops and the robbers, when we finally reached the conclusion, it was just a big dull pop. Spike Lee could do better than this, rather than waving the "secret" about the movie. He could make this movie more interesting. I found myself struggling with muddy motivations and doubts.
Due to my hectic schedule, I will not be able to review all new movies every week. I apologize. I will however review some older movies from DVDs from time to time. Thank you for understanding.
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