Collateral (9/10)

Copyright © 2004 by Tony Medley

Vincent (Tom Cruise) is a grey-haired contract killer who gets in the cab of Max (Jamie Foxx), after Max has met Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith) a U.S. Attorney and she has given him her card to call her. Vincent forces Max to drive him around to the various locations where his victims happen to be. Max is trapped.

Even though this is pretty long for a thriller, around 2 hours, the script (Stuart Beattie) is very tight. Being as how itís directed by Michael Mann, itís got its slow spots, but they are few and far between. Like one where Vincent is musing about the way people live their lives and he observes, ďMost people 10 years from now will be doing the same thing over and over theyíre doing now.Ē The most bizarre occurs when they are driving to a disco and suddenly everything almost goes into slow motion for about a minute, at what looks to be Canon Drive and Sunset Boulevard. Regardless, this moves along pretty quickly.

Vincent is an odd amalgamation of contract killer and philosopher who seems to want something good for Max. Mann is faithful to Los Angeles. Although itís shot at night, the locations are all realistic Los Angeles locations, so Angelenos will see some very familiar sites.

Mann does insert a ridiculous shootout in a disco. There are so many bullets flying around that in real life hundreds of people would be killed. Itís a crowded disco, so crowded Vincent and Max have to push and shove their way through the crowd. Then everyone opens up with their powerful weapons, but the only people who get hit are the ones at which Vincent is aiming. Itís relatively tense, but if you think about it, itís laughably Hollywood.

Vincent and Max are pretty amazing at the end at the way they know exactly where to go and where other people are. The scenes of Max talking with Annie on the phone where he can actually see into her office are ludicrous.

Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx do terrific jobs with a great script and a Director who definitely passes muster here. This is an enjoyable thriller, just a skosh below The Bourne Supremacy.

July 30, 2004

The End