Denzel Washington Month #2: Inside Man, Man on Fire

Inside Man

Intelligence can be a valuable factor in many of life’s outcomes. In the hands of good people, intelligence can lead to wonderful things and in the wrong hands, something so powerful has the potential to cause unimaginable damage and problems. But what happens when it belongs to a person of questionable character? What happens when it belongs to three people with questionable character? That’s one of the many things that’s discussed in the Spike Lee directed crime caper Inside Man.

When a group of masked criminals enter a bank and takes everyone hostage, the N.Y.P.D. rushes to the scene of the crime in progress. Detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) is given the assignment although he is currently under investigation himself after 140,000 dollars came up missing and his name was attached to it. Frazier is going head to head with Dalton Russell (Clive Owen). Russell appears to always be one step ahead of the cops and believes that he’s planned the perfect bank heist.

Frazier knows that he must match the wits of a daring and confident criminal, but things get more complicated when a woman named Madeleine White (Jodie Foster) enters the fray at the request of a very important person. No one knows who she is or what she does, but she seems to have a wide range of connections with people in high places. All three people have their own agenda, but it’s Frazier’s job to solve the case before it’s too late.

Inside Man brings out the entertainment due to it’s structure, not knowing what’s going on, the actors and the suspense that they combine to create. It’s a thriller that effectively utilizes the ability of it’s actors and maintains a solid plot by allowing the viewers to see just enough until the time is right. Once that happens, we see that not only are the characters smart, but the film itself is even smarter than it first seemed. It’s hard to take your eyes off of the screen as everything is coming together with all of the quality that is laid out before us.

Man on Fire

Another Denzel Washington masterpiece was produced in the year of 2004. The name of the film is “Man on Fire”, and it’s my favorite Denzel Washington movie. It reveals some of the harsh facts about the kidnapping rates in Latin America, and how smart some criminals really are. If you are a fan of action or adventure movies, or you are just in the mood to watch a top quality movie, you should watch “Man on Fire”. One forewarning about the movie, the first hour builds an emotional connection with all of the characters, and the second hour is when all of the action takes place.

Like I mentioned earlier, the movie takes place in Latin America, and a family assigns a bodyguard named Creasy (Washington) to protect their daughter Pita (Dakota Fanning) from being kidnapped. Pita is a swimmer on the school team, a great person in the community, just as you would expect. The movies places an emotional connection with Creasy and Pita, which progresses throughout the film.

Then comes the dark side of the movie, the second half. This is where all of the action comes to life. It all starts with Pita getting kidnapped, and Creasy wanting to take revenge. He vows to kill every single person involved in the kidnapping. In doing so, he finds out an array of things. Each thing he finds out, brings him closer to the unimaginable truth, and it’s shocking ending, which is for you to find out.

In conclusion, Man on Fire is a very unique film, unlike many pointless action films. It has a great message, which shouldn’t be missed. Another trait that makes this movie great, is that it’s based on a true story. The movie contains some great acting, and features the likes of Dakota Fanning, Christopher Walken, and Marc Anthony. Everyone does a great acting job, and no one contradicts each other. It seems as if they picked the perfect cast. I think that this is one of the most underrated movies of 2004. If you ever have a chance to watch it, I would strongly recommend it.


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