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The most perfect bank robbery in history.
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Washington plays Keith Frazier, a New York City police detective who specializes in hostage negotiations. Clive Owen plays Dalton Russell a bank robber who is the upmost professional at what he does.
Christopher Plummer plays Aurthur Case, the owner of the bank. Now Case owns a whole slew of banks but he takes a special interest in this bank because in his personal deposit box contains something rare and expensive. Enter Jodi Foster, her character is known as a fixer for situations like this. She liaisons between plummer and Frazier to make sure the contents of the box remain a secret. If he is successful in doing so she can arrange for early promotions or other types of perks.
Washington and Owen then engage in a cat and mouse, ping pong style of negotiations, Washington tries to play it by the book and direct where it is going and Owen throws up brick walls. It almost looks like he knows the negotiator's handbook better than a real cop. Owen unveils a bunch of ploys to detour the cops and get his way and the cops fall for ever trick. Following the heist Owen leads Washington to a further crime that is draped in blood, profits and deceit.
I thought this film was excellent, it is definitely in Spike's top five. The script was not only brilliantly written, the cast was powerful and Spike put his personal visual touch to really complete the great package. This film goes further than a simple heist movie. It is a story that touches on history, corruption and politics throughout the police department. The film has three stories, the initial heist which truly was the perfect crime. For this it had to have been researched, thought out and written. The second story is after the heist with Denzel spending a great deal of time interviewing suspects, and the Case back story. They intersected beautifully which is a tribute to his editor.
Denzel and Owen, and Dezel and Chiwetel Ejiofor had some great scenes together. The entire cast had great chemistry, and Willem Dafoe and Jodi Foster added the friction that created some great dramatic moments. There was some hilarious scenes and then at without notice they flipped and got very intense. Russell Gewirtz told a great story, and kept it fast paced and the film never dragged on, and Spike executed it to be one of the best caper films going.