I have long praised Spike Lee’s 2006 movie, “Inside Man,” as one of his three best (along with “Do The Right Thing” in 1989 and “BlacKkKlansman” last year). Although it was his most successful film, a lot of people have never seen it, which is why it has a place on my Movies You Might Not Know list.
What I didn’t know was that Lee wanted to do a sequel, and had convinced stars Denzel Washington, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Clive Owen, and Jodie Foster to reprise their roles, with legendary producer Brian Grazer returning to helm the project again. But it took a few years to get a script written, which was then rejected in favor of an entirely new one. Meanwhile, Lee had trouble getting financing, a remarkable notion considering how much Hollywood loves to do sequels to movies that hit it big at the box office. Eventually, the idea faded away, and Lee and his stars moved on to other projects.
But the idea for a sequel didn’t die. It finally landed at the feet of a producer named Ogden Govanski, who has exactly zero quality movies credited on his IMDb page. He apparently got the film financed, although it’s not clear if it was ever destined for theatrical release or was always considered a direct-to-video project. Regardless, it was released this fall by Universal Home Entertainment with the title, “Inside Man: Most Wanted.”
Because I’m such a fan of the original, the sequel’s title caught my eye on Netflix, so Martha and I watched it last night What a disappointment.
The only cast member we knew was Rhea Seehorn, who has been so good playing Kim Wexler on “Better Call Saul” and deserves a better big screen shot than this. In “Inside Man: Most Wanted,” she plays an FBI agent working with an NYPD detective (Aml Ameen) on another bank-heist-hostage-situation with some flimsy ties to the one in Lee’s original, which keeps getting referred to in the dialogue as if something magical will rub off and make this one special, too. Nothing does, leaving a trail of nonsense and clichéd acting behind.
Don’t waste your time (like we did) on “Inside Man: Most Wanted.” However, if you’ve never seen the original, track it down and watch not just a master moviemaker at his best, but a really strong cast do good work, too (including Willem Dafoe and Christopher Plummer).