to roll with it"
After dropping off a fare in downtown L.A., the next person
in Max's (Foxx) taxicab isn't your average passenger. Offering $600 to hire
his cab for the night, Vincent (Cruise) says he has five stops to make,
meeting friends and concluding some business. Max reluctantly agrees but
he'll wish he hadn't, as he makes a shocking discover that his fare isn't
the real-estate broker he said he was but a hit-man with five people to
When one of the most talented directors working in Hollywood
and biggest star in the world join forces, you have to take notice. Collateral
certainly grabs your attention.
Director Michael Mann and Tom Cruise come together to bring
you a movie filled with style, violence and tension, all cloaked in the
yellow streetlight haze of night time L.A. Starting the meter running from
the off, Collateral gives you a small but detailed intro to the character
and then takes you on the ride of your life. As soon as the first victim
dies, the accelerator is planted firmly to the floor as Vincent pulls Max,
kicking and screaming, into his world.
All of this exhilaration is complemented by two lead actors
playing against type. Earlier in his career it would have been inconceivable
for Hollywood's golden boy to play a bad guy but now that Tom Cruise is
probably the most powerful actor in Tinseltown is can pick and choose roles
that challenge his craft. With Vincent he is as far removed from anything
he has ever done as he could be. He is a killer and damn good at his job
but this isn't a man who is remorseful for his action, far from it. He is
profession, clinical and cold, focused on the job and delivering death in
the most sinister fashion. Cruise excels in the role, grabbing it with all
the gusto he can muster and giving one of the best performances of his career.
Lets hope these brave choices continue as it really showcases his talent.
Mostly known for his more comedic roles and stand-up comedy Jamie Foxx uses
Collateral to show that he can also act. As Max, he is an everyman, someone
who you can instantly relate to and emphasise with. This is a character
that you connect with on every level, as he is just a man saving for his
dream and living his life. Foxx excels as he brings the character to life,
drawing you into the character through his complete normalcy.
It is Cruise and Foxx that predominately grab most of the
screen time but they are supported well by Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo
and Peter Berg. Pinkett Smith continues to impress as Annie. This is a small
but pivotal part that she really gets to grips with and makes her own. Ruffalo
also continues to forge name for himself as Lt. Fanning, the only man who
believes the Max isn't the one committing all the murders.
Director Michael Mann shows again that he is one of the best
filmmakers in Hollywood today. He just doesn't make bad movies and Collateral
does nothing to alter that trend. Shooting the entire movie at night brings
out a view of Los Angeles that few of us ever see. He makes the city actually
look beautiful, tinged in the yellow light of million street lamps as Vincent
and Max take their deadly journey together. He also exhilarates you during
the action sequences, using the camera more as a witness to the events.
He using a lot of close-ups but combining them wonderfully with sprawling
high-level shots of the streets and highways, the viewer travels along with
the cabby and his abductor from hit to hit with the approach allowing you
to find out more about the character and making the cab an environment onto
Collateral is a first rate action drama that showcases all
the talent involved. While the ending feels abit too anti-climatic to what
has gone on before, the superb performances, stylish direction and brilliant
looks make this a must see movie. In fact you deserve a contract putting
on your head if you miss it.
City of night
- the making of Collateral
with Michael Mann commentary
location in Annie's office featurette
MTA train featurette
and Jamie Foxx rehearsal featurette
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