Cert: 15 Runtime: 120 mins Director: Michael Mann Cast: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo and Javier Bardem
Take comfort in knowing you never had a choice
After watching the disaster of Michael Mann’s Blackhat I had to go back and watch Collateral. His best film in my opinion and one of the best re-watchable films. What is Collateral about then? Max (Jamie Foxx) has lived a mundane life as a cab driver for twelve years. The faces have come and gone from his rear-view mirror: people and places he’s long since forgotten–until tonight. Vincent (Tom Cruise) is a contract killer. When an off-shore narco-trafficking cartel learns that they’re about to be indicted by a federal grand jury, they mount an operation to identify and kill the key witness, and the last stage is tonight. It is on this very night that Vincent has arrived–and five bodies are supposed to fall. Circumstances cause Vincent to hijack Max’ taxicab, and Max becomes collateral–an expendable person who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. Through the night, Vincent forces Max to drive him to each assigned destination. And as the L.A.P.D. and F.B.I. race to intercept them, Max and Vincent’s survival become dependent on each other, in ways neither would have imagined.
Collateral is without a doubt one of the best action films to come out in the 21st century. Not only does it feature a stellar cast and crew, but a prominent soundtrack, beautiful cinematography, and a knock out story that is not only unique, but believable and realistic.Tom Cruise delivers one of the best performances of his career, bringing a certain coldness to his character: A man who has no compassion or mercy for human life, making him seemingly robotic and non human. Every move Vincent makes, whether it’s holding a gun, or having conversations with Max, he is always in control, aware of his surroundings. Cruise becomes Vincent, the boyish charm hidden by a stony exterior.Which brings us to Jamie Foxx, breaking from his well known comedic skills to try his hand at a drama (how times have changed), and how nicely he succeeds.
Foxx is the standout in this film, bringing a vulnerability yet a strong willingness to survive to his character Max, a man who before meeting Vincent lets people walk all over him. Yet over the course of one night, through his interactions with Vincent, he gains the courage to stand up for himself, to do what he believes to be right. His conversations with Vincent awaken him to the kind of life he is currently living, and that he can be so much more than what he had become. The story to this film is never slow, always picking up the pace and keeping the viewer involved in what is happening on screen. The score and music choices to the film do not take away from it, but rather enhance it, creating a mood that is calming and soothing at times, and tense and suspenseful at others times. Not to mention, the cinematography, seeing LA at night is a beauty all in itself, to see the city at night is a wonder and a privilege. This story of a hit man is given a fresh spin with this film, one the boasts beautiful cinematography, and an outstanding story. Highly recommended.