37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Nearly flawless caper film!,
The first thing that attracted me to this film was the cast. Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Christopher Plummer, Jodie Foster, heck Willem Dafoe is really a bit player in this one. Not to mention that Spike Lee, not one of my favorite directors, but certainly capable of telling a good story, and the potential was there for brilliance. By now, you know surely that the film deals with a heist of a bank, that the thieves are not after the normal booty that bank robbers go after, and that someone high up in the bank brass stands to lose very personally based on the actions of the thieves. What you may not know is why the movie is so much fun and so great to see.
Clive Owen owns this film. Yes, Denzel is great and carries his scenes well, but Owen has the task of not only convincingly playing a thief who is totally in control of the situation, he has to play the role in a way to illicit sympathy from the audience. He does both things masterfully. No doubt you will be in agreement that his performance is the landmark achievement of the movie and the reason it ultimately works. Washington is a good two dimensional character, blending his desire to take advantage of this one great chance he has at landing a plum role within the police department and the fact that he is personally struggling with the pressure of his girlfriend who wants to discuss "the M word" and wear something on a certain finger. In fact, this becomes a large part of the film, right up to the very end.
If I noted a couple of weaknesses in the film they would be these. Jodie Foster's character, while necessary, seems to distract from the action. Her role is somewhat important, but I wished she had not been there. Also, the film wraps up somewhat clumsily, as it feels that an extra scene or two should have been left out. This would have made the scenes after the main action feel much tighter. The very end of the film was the only time I felt any urge to look at my watch.
These are minor complaints, believe me. In the end, this is a winner, top to bottom. The scary thing about watching movies like this is that the idea the crooks had for robbing the bank is so smart, it will be a wonder if other people don't try it. The heist strategy made that much sense. I highly recommend this film. You won't regret it.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 5, 2012 10:04:54 AM PST
R. Donahue says:
I highly recomend TV Guardian foul language filter or you will regret it
Posted on Apr 11, 2012 1:29:17 PM PDT
I believe you mean to use the word 'elicit' in your review and not 'illicit', though the gaffe is pretty funny.
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