IT LOOKED LIKE THE PERFECT BANK ROBBERY. BUT YOU CAN’T JUDGE A CRIME BY ITS COVER.
When masked bank robbers take hostages, New York detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) is called to the scene; he finds himself matching wits with the gang’s leader (Clive Owen) and a mysterious power broker (Jodie Foster). Director Spike Lee’s first real Hollywood thriller is a stylish and exciting film; he portrays a bank robbery that makes no sense and then carefully gives us clues to what the criminals really are after. Washington and Owen are charismatic in the leads and Foster tries to do something with an inessential character that hardly required an actor with her skills. It may be a little hard to believe in the extravagantly crafted screenplay, but why would you ruin things by thinking about it too much?
2006-U.S. 128 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Brian Grazer. Directed by Spike Lee. Screenplay: Russell Gewirtz. Music: Terence Blanchard. Cast: Denzel Washington (Keith Frazier), Clive Owen (Dalton Russell), Jodie Foster (Madeleine White), Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Trivia: Ron Howard was allegedly considered for directing duties.
Last word: “It came together quickly because Denzel had a specific window. At the time I sent the script to Denzel he was playing Brutus on Broadway in ‘Julius Caesar’. He said: ‘Spike I want to do it but this is when the play ends, I’m going to take a week off, then I’ll begin a week later and we’ll have four weeks of shooting.’ It had to come very quickly to fit within Denzel’s schedule. If he wasn’t doing it, then the film wasn’t getting made.” (Lee, indieLondon)