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The Inside Man sequel you may have missed

Fans of the 2006 Spike Lee joint Inside Man have a special treat waiting for them on Netflix. Inside Man: Most Wanted is the sequel to Lee's heist picture, and you never even knew it existed. Lee did not have any involvement in the film, which was written by Brian Brightly (who penned the upcoming Tremors: Island Fury) and directed by M.J. Bassett (Silent Hill: Revelation).

In case you need a refresher, Inside Man is perhaps Lee's most commercial movie; it also happens to be an absolute corker of a crime thriller. It stars the great Denzel Washington as a New York police detective assigned to negotiate with the mastermind (Clive Owen) behind a daring Manhattan bank heist taking place in broad daylight, as the robbers employ increasingly clever means of distraction and misdirection in their bid to pull off the perfect robbery.

The flick's incredible cast also includes Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and James Ransone; the modestly-budgeted picture scored a $186 million worldwide box office haul, was showered with praise by critics, and proved that Lee was just as adept at crackling thrillers as dialogue-driven dramas. Since it told a pretty self-contained story, nobody was really expecting a continuation, but Inside Man: Most Wanted is indeed a direct sequel (albeit one with exactly no characters or cast from the original film returning). Instead, the flick focuses on the son of Plummer's character, and while its cast isn't exactly as loaded as the original film's, viewers of prestige crime dramas will find one familiar and welcome face. 

Inside Man: Most Wanted probably flew right under your radar

Inside Man: Most Wanted stars Better Call Saul's Rhea Seehorn as FBI agent Brynn Stewart, partner to NYPD hostage negotiator Remy Darbonne (Aml Ameen, Sense8). The two are paired up and called into action when the New York Federal Reserve is taken over by a team of crooks. They're ostensibly led by Ariella Barash (Roxanne McKee, Game of Thrones), but through their negotiations with her, Stewart and Darbonne learn that not all is as it seems. 

As it turns out, Ariella and her sister are mere pawns of Dietrich Case (Greg Kriek, The Stranger), the son of Arthur Case, whose role in the failed heist from the first movie was meant to set Dietrich up with a fortune. The fed and the cop slowly come to understand that Barash might serve as their "inside man" (or woman, as it were) as they follow a series of clues which may be meant to help them foil the robbery.

It's a tight, twisty little thriller — one that works in the spirit of Lee's original film, while admirably refraining from aping his distinctive visual style. If you happened to be keeping track of developments after the release of Lee's film, then you may know that the notion of bringing the director and much of the cast back for a sequel was kicked around for several years in the wake of its success. Then, in 2010, Lee declared the project officially dead in the water. 

Nobody really expected another creative team to pick up the baton and run with it, so one could be forgiven for missing the sequel, which was released directly to video in 2019. Now that you know, though, we encourage you to check it out — and hey, you can make it a double feature. Inside Man and Inside Man: Most Wanted are both available to stream on Netflix right now.