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really enjoyed Collateral. Tom Cruise's character Vincent is a contract
killer who uses an innocent Taxi Driver named Max played by Jamie Foxx,
to drive him around town as he kills his victims. Vincent assures Max
that these are all "bad people" but as the story goes on you realize
Vincent can't be trusted with anything he says.
Tom Cruise plays this evil character with a lot of depth and complexity. You start to see that he is actually very warped and evil. Jamie Foxx's character starts to wonder just how psycho this person is and you can tell he realizes this situation is getting worse and worse.
Jada Pinkett Smith plays the Attorney who rides with max before Vincent. She and Max flirt and it creates a very interesting plot twist. Mark Ruffalo plays a detective trying to hunt down the killers of the murder victims. Ruffalo was so good in his role, that at first I didn't even realize it was him.
I could see an Oscar nomination for Tom Cruise with this movie. His character is so complex, and Cruise portrays him with perfection.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Tom Cruise as the soulless professional killer asks who cares if any
particular person dies -- one might ask the same question about this
story. I'll admit that for a slam-bang action movie it was shot well
and the physical effects did not defy the laws of physics as Hollywood
is so fond of doing. Of course, the story line defies all laws of
probability, and as such is so typically Hollywood that you could set
your watch to the ending if you're appropriately cynical (as I became,
When Cruise tells cabbie Foxx to pull around the back of the building to the alley, of course the body that "accidentally" hurtles out of the window exactly above where the cab is parked lands smack dab on the cab. Compared to the rest of the story, this colossal coincidence seems perfectly routine, if not expected. Never mind that the meek and mild-mannered cab driver masquerades successfully as a professional killer to a gang of killers, a cop who is looking for him ends up in the same elevator with him later on, and lo and behold, Cruise's final victim ends up being a pretty lawyer whom Foxx had ferried across town just hours before (and also never mind that the beautiful and driven lawyer gives a disheveled Foxx her card and tells him to call her). All of this crap could only happen in a Hollywood movie. I was embarrassed for the writers, but they not only are unashamed, but proud of this kind of garbage!
If you want to lose yourself in an action movie that has less intelligent conversation or story development than a Spongebob episode, watch on! Otherwise, skip this slick, fast-moving fairy tale.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*SPOILERS* Modern Noir at it's best.
Very tight writing. Very good acting. A well deserved Oscar nom for Foxx. ANY movie that can make you forget about sexy Jada Pinkette Smith for an entire second act has to be well written, acted, directed, and shot.
A TIMID but caring cabbie faces his mirror opposite in a test of humanity. The word timid is key here as there are those who don't like this movie who forget that the character played by Jamie Foxx has to grow balls "big as Toledo" in order to survive the night with a psychopath who has found the only occupation that accepts his twisted view of the world. And like all psychopaths, Vincient is charming and able to rationalize his actions. Because of the general indifference to global disasters such as RWanda, it's okay to whack a dozen people in the night.
Max (Jamie Foxx) cares about people as human beings. Vincient (Tom Cruise) cares about people the way a roach exterminator cares about roaches: why are they here? And how Vincient must have hated killing people who were Collaterals since he was only contracted for 5.
It's Max's humanity (finally represented by the threat to Jada Pinkette Smith) that creates in him the strenght to deal with Vincient.
Micheal Mann's direction, which deserved an Oscar nom, is in a word, a masterpiece. I do think Vincient's character was influenced by Robert DeNiro's character in HEAT. At least visually. I always thought Tom Cruise was born to play the assassin in the Day of the Jackal (the '73 original version) Pefect casting. With all the names of people who had signed on and then off to act or direct this. It all worked out. I can't imagine any other paring except Cruise and Foxx. Funny, if this was made 25-30 years ago, it would have been great to see Jack Nicholson as Vincient and Bill Crosby or Clint Eastwood as the cabbie. Even the so called small parts are well played. Mark Ruffalo's performance was excellent.
And the actor who played Filex is slated to play crime lord Pablo Escabar. If I was a betting man, I'd bet right now that he'll get an Oscar nomination for it.
The camera work and music was excellent. Although I think the ending would have worked better with SILENCE and heavy breathing from Annie, Max and Vincient.
The writing? It's a mystery the writer was not nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.
Actually the whole film deserved much more kudos, Oscar wise. Tom Cruise is in the Richard Gere/David Mamet club. Their work almost always results in one of their co stars getting an Oscar nom. That's okay for Cruise. He's in his 40's and for the next 15 years is going to get terrific roles and a lot of Oscars.
The only thing I don't like about this movie is that Jada Pinkette Smith is married! That and parts of the ending. But not for the previously stated reasons. Max is not a killer so when he wounded Vincient his gun should have fell out of his hand and onto the floor. This would have made his running out the room with Annie more realistic. If he had just enough time to fumble picking up his gun and run out of the room while Vincient recovered it would make sense. OTherwise, why didn't he just shoot Vincient a second and third time and finish the deal? BUT Cruise makes up for it with that last line of dialouge and camera shot on the train.
I suspect part of the debate about the ending is that people didn't want Vincient (Tom Cruise) to die. By the time of the now classic coyote scene, there's empathy for Cruise... he manages to display sad eyes of regret on the way to the Fever Nightclub.
For people who didn't like the film: In the future you'll watch it again on some raining night and say "wow!" Or: "Hey Homie, is that my briefcase?" Collateral.
A modern masterpiece.
Cabbie Max (Jamie Foxx) finds himself caught with psychopath-hit-man
Vincent (Tom Cruise) in his taxi on a night with murder in the air...
Vincent is doing his thing with a couple of witnesses of some sort of crime (I forget what it was), and his last stop is procecutor Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith). Now it's up to Max to stop that.
Not really an amazing storyline, and to be honest, not really a special movie in any way. Foxx is pretty convincing in his role, but Cruise is nothing special and the ending is rather strange and silly. It's almost laughable when Cruise does his Terminator/Matrix thing on the subway...
Movie has some compelling moments (the scene in the nightclub comes to mind) but is surely not the instant classic some people mistake it for. 6/10.
Mann is one of the premiere movie makers of today. I can't help but
think that he's slightly more interested in the craft than the end
product. It's hard not to be impressed by this visually, but the script
and arguably the acting are not to the same standard.
The story is almost solely about the interactions between Vincent (Cruise playing the bad guy for a change) and Max (Foxx) who is a mild mannered taxi driver. The longer he spends with Vincent the more streetwise Max becomes, but this doesn't quite ring true, since I'm sure any taxi driver that's worked for 12 years will have had a few nasty moments.
This film makes LA look far more beautiful than it really is and it's quite clear that Mann loves the place. If the acting and script were up to the standard of the photography I'd give this a 10 but as it is I'll give it 7/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The idea for Collateral (A taxi cab driver forced against his will to
drive a hit man to 5 separate locations throughout the night) is
excellent. Tom Cruises acting, along with Jamie Foxx who usually annoys
me, was above par. However, Michael Mann's decision to use:
A: The worlds worst editor in the history of film B: One of the dumbest musical arrangements/scoring ever recorded and C: The most idiotic coincidences I've ever seen in a film
Really really pushed this movie into the crap category for me. I mean don't get me wrong, if you absolutely LOVE Bacardi Silver and enjoy staring at an advertisement for it which literally fills the entire screen for like 15 seconds, or if you enjoy watching scenes that drag on for no apparent reason then yes, this film is incredible.
Personally though, I would have probably paid someone to actually act as an editor on the movie instead of allowing a retarded monkey to put the scenes together. And I might have considered paying someone to put together a soundtrack so that there weren't scenes where 15 minutes of piano elevator music put the audience to sleep.
--- Spoiler Alert ---
And the coincidences, oh my god. Honestly, the cop being at the hospital at the same time as the killer just by chance? And the fact that Jamie Foxx randomly met one of the assassins targets immediately before picking him up as a fair. What the Christ is that? It's bad writing is what it is, and despite having a good cast and director this movie really imploded into itself after about the first 30 minutes.
I don't even want to go into how poorly the club scene was put together. I mean honestly, where did all the cops go? There was a club full of swat team special ops and as soon as the loser from Macguyver gets shot in the foot they all disappear to I guess let Tom Cruise murder his target.
Anyway, this movie really upset me because it had such a great premise and some of the dialogue was excellent... just, got destroyed by the editing department. Really really bad cuts, still worth seeing just, maybe not in theaters. Maybe they'll release a re-worked edition on DVD, that would be nice.
I can't see why so many people seemed to love this movie. I watched it
last night and I would call it mediocre at best. The entire story is
cliché and I liked the hit-man with a heart of gold character a lot
better Jean Reno played it in The Professional. I can't take Jamie Foxx
seriously as a leading man. I know this is a Hollywood movie and not
real life but when is a hot, lawyer ever going to give her phone number
to a cab driver? This movie was a disappointing combination of
predictability and unbelievability.
If you want to see the hit-man with conscious go see The Professional. If you want well don Noir go watch one of the classics like The Killers, Criss Cross or Kiss Me Deadly
Well, another disappointment by Michael Mann. Just had the flick on a
DVD from my library. Well, it is very well filmed, a gift that Mr. Mann
has given proof of already back in the early 80ies. However, I am
wondering if he does think that people who watch films must be mindless
creatures. As a producer and director he should have toppled such an
unrealistic and stupid script, and as he was obviously involved in the
financing of this film, i am sure he would have had the means to. I
have no intention to become a professional murderer, but if i wanted
to, i would never accept 5 hits per night (maybe Vincent was offered an
extra bonus or whatsoever......(. I can only advise any potential
hit-man would be, don't do it! Look into yourself, become a script
writer, even if you f*** it up, you will never go to prison, on the
contrary, you might get seriously wealthy, legally!!!!!! (This
statement does also apply to Directors, Actors,Producers, etc.
The worst flaw, our dear screenwriter wants us to swallow is that a Professional Criminal on a secret mission, would be stupid enough to clinch to a simple minded cab driver till the bitter end,and threatening him to death all the time, not only with his firearm but, maybe even more, with his rather department-store-like philosophy.
I think there is a good film about the same topic, i think it's a Don Siegel film and is called "The line up". Virtually the same plot, but definitely better written and with inherent logic which "Collateral" is in desperate shortage of.
Now, let us stop complaining, as i mentioned at the beginning, it is very well filmed. Mr. Mann really is a visual person, and my biggest surprise was, that the "intimate" scenes in the Cab don't make you yawn..........!!!!!! So he must now how to handle Actors, maybe he will take an additional class in Script-plausibility....
Nevertheless, a missed opportunity, though i hope that the Producers and Investors were able to get their money back. But definitely, this cannot be the future of the American "Serie Noire" Thriller.
What I like about the movie:
Michael Mann loves Los Angeles and it shows the nighttime LA is one of the film's true stars and director uses quite a few helicopter shots to show it's beauty and magnificence. Film looks and sounds great Mann is known for the great soundtracks in his films.
Beginning of the movie was promising: Before Vincent (a hit man with five targets) hops in the cab; Max (the cabbie who gets hired by Vincent for the night) picks up Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith). They talk about their lives, their dreams. He guesses quiet accurately what she does for living; he's got good observation skills and sense of humor. The chemistry between Foxx and Pinkett Smith is undeniable.
Cruise and Foxx both act wonderfully in the movie. I actually went to see it because I wanted to see Cruise as a ruthless bad guy who made killing people his full time job. Both, Cruise and Foxx play against their types, and it works for both of them.
There's one splendid supporting role - a jazz club owner played by Barry Shabaka Henley. The scene between him and Cruise is, IMO, the best on in the move.
What I did not like:
Where this film fails miserably is in its plotting too many coincidences, and the movie relies on them too much. I guessed the end of the movie after first ten minutes and it was correct.
There's an absurd nightclub sequence when people keep dancing even when the whole hell turned loose. Nothing would stop them from dancing, not even gunfire and dead bodies next to them.
The ending also belongs to the much inferior movie with obligatory cell phone go low on battery. Cruise character's determination which is more like obsession brings to memory the crazy Nazi character played by Malcolm McDowell in The Passage (1979) and that's not the best territory to dwell.
Overall, it was a disappointment the movie that I wanted to like by director whom I admire with Tom Cruise playing against his type.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As thrillers go COLLATERAL is outstanding for the most part . Michael
Mann visual approach is beautiful , tense and very well paced . Tom
Cruise , an actor who I've never been too keen on gives his best
performance for many a year as Vince a ruthless hit-man but is
overshadowed in the acting stakes by Jaime Foxx as Max the cab driver .
The real star of the movie though is Stuart Beattie's screenplay
because it's not very often major Hollywood studios produce something
so well written that turns up the tension
!!!! SPOILERS !!!!
Throughout the movie it looks like Max is going to come to some serious harm
" Open the trunk sir "
" Is all this necessary officer "
" Just open the trunk "
Which will have the audience screaming OMG how's Max going to get out of that ? OMG they've taken Vincent's briefcase , OMG the cops think Max is Vincent , OMFG
As I said this is a film that will have the audience biting their fingers . That is until the last act where the movie loses a lot of its momentum . I wouldn't say the ending sucked it's just that Vince trying to kill the only person who knows that Max isn't Vince is a rather average and anti climatic plot twist . I also couldn't help noticing that this is a problem with most if not all of Mann's movies . THE KEEP has a ridiculous and confused ending , LAST OF THE MOHICANS and HEAT are very anti climatic with the best bits taking place in the middle of the movie and I haven't mentioned the crap endings of every single Miami VICE episode . Like everything else Mann has made the best bits ( Like the aforementioned scenes and the nightclub shoot out ) happen before the end
COLLATERAL still manages seven out of ten despite the slightly disappointing ending
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