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Collateral (2004)

July 3, 2009

VERDICT:
8/10 Back Seat Drivers

Since Michael Mann’s new movie, Public Enemies, comes out today, let’s go ahead and take a look back at a really good movie he did a few years ago that I feel like everyone forgot about.

Collateral is about an L.A. cab driver with pipe dreams to own his own limo company that picks up a passenger one night named Vincent. Turns out, Vincent is a hitman that has taken it upon himself to use the cab driver as his getaway man for the evening, chauffeuring him from target to target.

I guarantee that kind of shit wouldn’t happen in New York.

The thing that’s awesome about Michael Mann is that all his movies are about professionals – people who are the best of the best in their line of work. His characters all know what’s up, they make it damn clear that they’re not screwing around, and that’s a big reason why his movies are cool as hell.

His movies also just look really cool. Hard to describe without seeing it for yourself, but his movies just feel..smooth; like everything in Michael Mann’s world is squeaky clean and it all shimmers like gun metal.

Smooth – good word.

Collateral‘s also got a good, simple premise that gets crazy fast: pro cab driver with no gun vs. pro killing machine with gun and lots of ammo to boot. That’s a winning formula right there. It’s also got some great, smooth dialogue to balance out all the assassinations, the pacing is fantastic, and Tom Cruise is really good as Vincent the grey, grizzled hitman.

And while it’s no Ray, Jamie Foxx is good, too. It’s actually more his role as the cabbie that’s good because he’s the real source of character development in the movie. But let’s not kid ourselves, it’s kind of hard to steal the show from a guy who kills people for a living and does it like it’s no big thing.

I don’t know what’s going on here, but this is about the second or third review where I’ve liked Tom Cruise. And I can think of two other movies off the top of my head where he’s good that I’m looking forward to writing about.

Something’s up here, and I don’t like it.

My main man Lloyd especially likes this movie because it’s about, “the embodiment of death in Tom Cruise and how his presence invigorates the once-dormant life in Jamie Foxx”. I’m just paraphrasing here, but that’s the main gist. Needless to say, Lloyd’s a pretty sharp guy, and he’s right. Collateral is more than just a vapid action movie and it’s got some pretty insightful points on life and death to break through that stereotypical shell of being a movie you’d find on Spike TV or something.

I’m looking forward to seeing Public Enemies, but since Miami Vice was apparently no good (my right-hand-man Nick calls it, “watching Colin Farrell hook up with Asian chicks for two hours”), there’s always Collateral to fall back on. Haven’t seen it in a while and if this is all news to you, then you might want to follow suit and give it a look even if Public Enemies is awesome.

Really good movie, one of those things that came and went in the theaters for no reason at all, and it’s just so damn…

Smooth.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 26, 2010 4:18 pm

    It’s fun, and just amazing to sit back and follow. Check out my review here: http://dtmmr.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/collateral-2004/ Nice Review!

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