Summer 2006 Summer Films series
Sunday, June 18, 2006 at 8:00pm
Rated NR ·
The latest film from director Spike Lee starts out simply enough: four people dressed in painters’ outfits march into the busy lobby of Manhattan Trust, a cornerstone Wall Street branch of a worldwide financial institution. Within seconds, the costumed robbers place the bank under a surgically planned siege, and the 50 patrons and staff become unwitting pawns in an airtight heist.
NYPD hostage negotiators Detectives Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington, Training Day) and Bill Mitchell (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dirty Pretty Things) are dispatched to the scene with orders to establish contact with the heist’s ringleader, Dalton Russell (Clive Owen, Gosford Park), and ensure safe release of the hostages. Working alongside Emergency Services Unit (ESU) Captain John Darius (Willem Dafoe, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou), all are hopeful that the situation can be peacefully diffused and that control of the bank and release of those inside can be secured in short order.
But things don’t progress as planned. Russell appears to consistently be one step ahead of the police, outwitting Frazier and Mitchell at every turn. Frazier’s suspicions that more is at work than anyone perceives are justified with the entry of Madeline White (Jodie Foster, Silence of the Lambs), a power player with shadowy objectives, who requests a private meeting with Russell. The chairman of the bank’s board of directors, controlling entrepreneur Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer, The New World), is also uniquely interested in the moment-to-moment happenings inside the branch.
Frazier is convinced that invisible strings are being pulled and secret negotiations are taking place. With loyalties and motives called into question, the detective engages in a risky game of cat-and-mouse—but with the rules of the game ever changing, one wrong move may take the volatile match closer to a disastrous and deadly conclusion.