Inside Man Review
Inside Man (2023) Film Review, a movie directed by Danny A. Abeckaser, written by Kosta Kondilopoulos and starring Emile Hirsch, Jake Cannavale, Lucy Hale, Ashley Greene, Danny A. Abeckaser, Bo Dietl, Vincent Laresca, Greg Finley, Kyle Stefanski, Aaron Ronnie Almani, George V. Andreakos, David Bortolucci, Kaleina Cordova, Robert Davi, Michael Heidemann, Emily Levine, Jeremy Luke and Vince Maritato.
Danny A. Abeckaser directs the tense thriller, Inside Man, a mob movie that is one of the best of its kind since 2019’s The Irishman. While the movie lacks the scope of the lengthy Scorsese masterpiece, The Irishman, Inside Man makes up for any of its shortcomings with one of the most disturbing and intense recent portraits of a man in over his head. That “inside man” is a cop named Bobby Belucci (the always terrific Emile Hirsch). He comes to be known as “Bobby Bones” in the movie when he goes undercover to try to take down a mafia boss named Roy DeMeo (played perfectly by Danny A. Abeckaser, the director).
The film opens in New York in the early 1980’s as it introduces its main character, Bobby. When Bobby catches his wife, Mary (Ashley Greene in a fine turn) cheating on him, he badly hurts the man she was cheating on him with. Bobby is soon reduced to doing desk work at the precinct but when he gets angry (again) in a bathroom one night, he beats up another guy who was getting into a fight with Chris Rosenberg (Jake Cannavale). Chris, as it turns out, has ties with the mafia and the two characters reunite at The Gemini Lounge where unspeakable crimes sporadically happen in an apartment close to the bar. Chris doesn’t know that Bobby is a cop. Instead, he thinks he’s an architect who lost his job per Bobby’s own lie.
So, Bobby convinces a head cop named Captain Rick Callan (the well-cast Bo Dietl) to help Bobby bring down DeMeo. To do this, Bobby has to go deep undercover with the police usually close behind him. Bobby makes tape recordings of conversations while Callan waits for a tape to catch DeMeo ordering a hit. Bobby infiltrates the mob and gets close to some characters, including Roy DeMeo, himself. We soon learn that Bobby may have once killed somebody and Roy will test Bobby’s loyalty by having him shoot (and possibly kill) someone at one point in the movie.
In the middle of all this is the bartender at the Gemini Lounge, Gina (Lucy Hale) who thinks Bobby is on to something when he asks what the difference is between a bar and a lounge. About an hour into the movie, Gina and Bobby participate in a bout of steamy sex but what purpose does Gina serve in all this? Could she somehow be linked to the mysterious Gemini Lounge events that occur throughout the film.
Robert Davi makes an appearance in the movie and Davi makes the most of his brief screen time playing another head mob character as well. As DeMeo’s close friend, Chris, eventually gets trigger happy to the point of no return, loyalties will be tested and Bobby’s true identity could be revealed to the mob. But, what would happen if they found out he was a cop? Or will they find out at all?
This is Emile Hirsch’s movie from beginning to end. He has qualities of Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie, yet Hirsch possesses a style all of his own. He loves Mary but when he realizes she is with someone else, he still wants to make things right by her. He also finds through Gina a companion though she may be too caught up in what’s going on at the Gemini Lounge to be much of a suitable romantic partner for Bobby. Hirsch is an amazing actor and does a phenomenal job in the role, carrying the movie all the way through. Hale more than shines beside him, adding layers to what could have been a minor role in a lesser film.
The biggest surprise is the layered performance by the director, Abeckaser, who is absolutely terrific. This story may be a tad familiar but the scenes with Abeckaser and Hirsch crackle with tension. These two actors play off each other like masters of the acting game.
At the end, we learn the Gemini Lounge was eventually converted to a church but the violence that occurred at the lounge would be hard to shake whatever was put in its place. If the movie has a flaw (and it does), it’s that the movie simply goes through introducing some of the supporting characters without much follow through which makes the explanations of their fates at the movie’s end feel a little irrelevant to the rest of the picture. But, as related information, those details are nevertheless fascinating.
Inside Man is very well made. Emile Hirsch has never been better as he draws us into a character who may be over the edge with no possibility of turning back. This movie will keep the viewer’s attention during the course of the film and it’s hard to look away except when the film reveals some graphic details of the killings that occurred. Still, for any fan of thought-provoking mob movies, Inside Man is an excellent one to see.
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