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Collateral More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

So much style, so little substance

Author: Tecun_Uman from United States
14 July 2006

To me, this movie captured the essence of Miami Vice much more than Mann's actual Miami Vice movie. This movie has the look, the colors, the characters, etc. Anybody that remembers back to the good old days of Miami Vice, remembers that the bulk of each episode was centered around driving around the city at night and looking cool in clubs. Well, this movie is centered around those two things as well. I have to admit, it looks so cool. HOWEVER, the story is very weak and to say the ending is a stretch is the understatement of all-time. In fact, I would dare say that the ending was ridiculous. Cruise and Foxx do their absolute best with what is written for them and in most Michael Mann films that would be enough. However, Michael Mann usually writes his own films, this one he did not. The result is obvious and quite inferior in comparison to other Mann products, such as Heat. I think anything over 7 given to this movie is a real stretch. However, the cool look of the film keeps me from going under 6. It is just sad that Mann felt the need to make a money grab with this film and that is what Collateral is. It is a stylish, oversimplified story with major star power to draw people in. Mann used to be about style with a lot more substance. I liked the old Mann better.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Sights & Sounds Great!

Author: ( from United Kingdom
17 April 2006

Simply beautiful to look at – the cinematography and Jada Pinkett-Smith. The soundtrack to this film – although stunningly understated – was sublime. The pace could be misinterpreted as sluggish, I however applaud the uncompromisingly 'un-Hollywood' rhythm Collateral has from start to finish.

'Action hungry' punters might feel a little short changed with this offering, because although it does provide beautifully executed battles – chiefly in the nightclub – Collateral is essentially a film that gravitates around the interplay between the two leads, near perfect visual sequences and a soundtrack that at times sounds angelic.

My few snipes with this film are minor, yet worth mentioning if only to ask why such things were left in…

1. Vincent's trousers need lengthening – not a good look wardrobe guys! 2. NONE of the actors can run properly, although watching Foxx try to run offered me a huge slice of amusement and dramatic relief. 3. The only fight scene – fleeting though it was - between Foxx and Cruise looked ridiculous…almost comical. I expected to see an action bubble saying "POW" or "KABAM!". 4. As the film hurtles towards its culmination in the offices, Cruise suddenly adopts a Jason Vorhees-esquire approach towards his body posture, mannerisms and movement…it just seemed a little odd to me. 5. The final scene – as the tube descends into the night - looked like the editor didn't quite know how to end the film smoothly, so didn't bother trying. 6. Plus, I didn't quite know if Cruise died in the end or was simply taking a nap…I just hope he didn't miss his stop, is anything more annoying?

Aside from all these downers, I thoroughly loved so many things about this film, and wish more Hollywood films would adopt a similar laid back approach to future thrillers.


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great performance in acting, but a feeling of déjà vu.

Author: tpicamoles85 from France
28 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Collateral was and remains the first thriller directed by Michael Mann after his masterpiece : Heat. In this regard, Collateral appeared to me as the revealing of a temporary lack of inspiration. I have been disappointed since Collateral seems to be in many ways a pale carbon copy of Heat. I don't say that the similarities between the two movies were not intentional : for instance Heat starts in a station and ends along the lanes of LAX whereas Collateral starts in LAX and ends in a station that could even be the one used for the running of Heat. That obvious symmetry was an implied reference, whether to satisfy the fans or to highlight the tragic side of the short-lived characters ? I don't know. An other similarity : two men, who don't know each other, who are apparently opposed in everything, find out what they have in common before ending up killing each other. In Heat the communion between the predator an the prey was credible and genuine. But in Colateral, the characters just do not match. By trying to bring Heat's emotions back to life, Michael Mann has reused the same dramatic features exaggerating them. A cop and a robber can grow aware that they are leading the same kind of life on "opposite sides of the law". In Collateral the scriptwriter chose a cab driver and a hit-man! If only Jamie Foxx' character suffered from the Stockholm syndrome! But it is not even the case.

Last but not least there is a main difference to point out : the rewarding role of women. In Heat the parts of Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman and Ashley Judd helped us to picture the situation of family breakdown and personal failures the leading characters experienced. In Collateral the character played by beautiful Jada Pinkett Smith is only designed to lead the story to an end that you can see coming a mile off.

5/10 because Michael Mann is better than that.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Collateral": Spotlight on Film Director Michael Mann

Author: lavatch from Twin Cities, Minnesota
12 June 2005

The best scene in Michael Mann's "Collateral" is a late-night conversation in a dowdy jazz club in Los Angeles. The conversation between Tom Cruise's hired killer Vincent and the club owner played by Barry Shabaka Henley is riveting, as the trumpet player recalls a chance meeting with the legendary Miles Davis. The scene is so realistic that it could have been lifted from Ken Burns' epic PBS series "Jazz." At the same time, director Mann brings to the scene the same powerful subtext achieved in his film "Heat" when Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro played out a memorable conversation across the table in a restaurant. The jazz scene in "Collatoral" was brilliantly written. But it was the careful set-ups, camera angles, and subtext of the performances that made for brilliant film-making.

Beyond this memorable scene, there is an edgy undercurrent to nearly all of the conversations in "Collateral," starting with the engaging scene in the cab between Jamie Foxx and Jada Pinkett Smith. All of the performances in this film are outstanding, especially Foxx as the intelligent, underachieving cab driver. I especially admired how the director subtly conveyed within the psyche of Tom Cruise's contract killer a mystery about the character's past. There is a long scene where the hit-man Vincent tells a harrowing tale of family abuse when he was a child, then informs cabdriver Max that he was just kidding. But was he? There are many complexities to the characters effectively layered into the film by Mann.

The stylish cinematography is another trademark of Mann's work. His choices in colors and lighting aesthetics are especially noteworthy in "Collateral." The location filming in Los Angeles, including the different nightclubs were memorable moments of the film. The unique stamp of Mann's style was apparent in an early film like "Thief" (1981), which was ahead of its time in film technique. In "Collateral," the overall effect is that of a "Naked City" presented with brutal honesty.

For all of its gritty realism, however, some of the action sequences, especially the climactic "death" scene, were surprisingly incredible. There are lengthy chase scenes on totally deserted streets in downtown Los Angeles. For anyone who has driven around L.A. at any time of the day or night, it would be difficult to imagine zipping around freeways and streets that look like those portrayed in this film. In the 60 years since the curfew imposed during the years of World War II, there have never been streets as empty in Los Angeles as those depicted in "Collateral."

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Odd Roles for Both

Author: jrfranklin01 from Palm Beach, FL
19 March 2005

This film definitely takes a bit of a turn from previous roles for both Jamie Fox and Tom Cruise. Cruise plays a hit man who uses a cabbie's services to complete a list of marks for the evening. The cabbie, played by Fox, is a well-educated man who almost comes across as not fitting the part correctly. I'm not trying to slant cab drivers, but Fox didn't seem convincing, maybe because of his comedic background. Cruise wasn't much better. For a guy that usually plays the hero's role, seeing him act darkly was a first. I will say that his new image (grayish hair, unshaven look) helped him at least look the part. The polished wit and outfit gave him a distinguished presence. But then his philosophy on life, psychology, etc. threw him out of the stereotypical hit-man mix. In the end, I guess they both were so oddly paired for their roles that the director thought the movie could work. But really, how plausible is any film where a contract killer uses a taxi-cab driver as his personal chauffeur for killing people?! The outrageousness of that alone is almost too much, albeit sensationalism is one of the things viewers can't seem to resist. 4/10

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I must be missing something

Author: gordon-19 from United Kingdom
21 January 2005

Whats all the fuss about with this movie. I didn't care about anybody, I guess I'm supposed to care about whats going to happen to Max, no connection for me at all. Does Tom Cruise think that by snarling and standing with his legs apart he looks like a bad guy? Finally was that supposed to be a twist near the end? Anybody who didn't see that coming a mile off hasn't seen many films in the past ten years. I've also seen suggestions on other posts that this was an action movie, where was that then? It was a relief when it was all over, I watched it in company and was too polite to leave the room. My only consolation was that someone else paid the rental fee. Boring in the extreme.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Waste of time and money

Author: anke23 from Deurne, The Netherlands
6 November 2004

It was a very long time ago I visited a bad movie like "Collateral". Not a thrill/excitement, a lot of mistakes and strange scenes. I don't understand why this movie has a rate of more than 7.5 ! First watched the rating before choosing this movie to view in the cinema.

Why does a serial killer forget who he has to kill ? Why does Annie pick up the phone in the library ?

A lot of people left the cinema (I never do that so I can make a opinion about the whole movie). Waste of money for me and the makers of this film. Unfortunately...

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Very good thriller, and superbly shot with the ever present Mann trademarks. Well worth watching.

Author: Richard Brunton from Edinburgh, Scotland
28 September 2004

very well filmed thriller from Michael Mann who once again proves his mastery of Directing, with Tom Cruise being equalled for performance alongside Jamie Foxx. Cruise shows how good he is at portraying a bad guy, just as much as his good guy roles, if not better.

The film starts off low key, and continues for the majority. Despite Vincent being a cold hired killer, his demeanour and relaxed, open attitude makes you feel that he's not that dangerous after all. At some point along the way I started wondering where this was going, I knew Cruise can play a great bad guy, but he wasn't really playing much at all, just any other character. Then I caught some of the subtleties of the character and the way he was calming and controlling Max.

What was then interesting was where it went from there, where the story kicked off into high gear and the characters changed under the pressure of the night. There's even a growing understanding between the characters before the final sequences.

Excellent action scenes and superb camera work with a fantastic score edited into the scenes adding another layer of tension and storytelling.

Imagine a straight line through the centre of the plot showing predictability, this story follows that path, but instead of a straight line it curves back and forth crossing it throughout but always keeping that steer. So what you find is you expect something to happen and it does, just not at the time or in the way you thought, it's always just slightly off centre. That makes it interesting, and although there is predictability, it doesn't detract one bit from the movie or it's style.

Let's face it Mann is about style and atmosphere, with a great score and some fantastic action sequences (check out the club scene), and this delivers. On top of that are the slower paced, low key scenes from the beginning which provide a great level of realism and character sympathies while setting the plot devices clearly in front of you.

Very good thriller, and superbly shot with the ever present Mann trademarks. Well worth watching.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Can I rewrite this please?

Author: jjohnson2400 from Seattle, WA
9 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

OK, I generally liked this movie, at least I wanted to like this movie but it was really difficult to look past some of the more ludicrous plot points.

I mean if your goal is to be stupid and make sure you die, you'd pretty much do what this guy did throughout the whole movie. This is one of those movies where your constantly left asking: "Why did you do that? No one would do that."

I realize it doesn't make much of a movie for someone to figure out immediately how to get out of this contrived situation but still, the writers could have at least tried to create something a bit more compelling.

Also, the prosecutor for the case was on his hit list who happened to take the same cab as the hit-man does, within minutes of each other. Setting aside the absurd level of coincidence that would take, why would they want to kill the prosecutor? They're not witnesses. I'm sure they'll find another prosecutor!

Watched this movie last night and my mind has a few more observations/issues with this movie:

1. Immaculate Discovery - as is pretty much required in this genre/level of writing for this movie, the bad guy miraculously and immediately knows exactly where the main POWER cables for the entire building are and is able to chop through it with a convenient axe.

2. Good thing that modern buildings aren't supplied with back up power generation or something...

3. Off the grid - Also convenient that this is the ONE large building in LA that is entirely off the grid so that a complete power loss event wouldn't trigger a call to, you know, the POLICE of Fire Department or something.

4. The Lone Ranger - OK so she's prosecuting this HUGE case and four of HER witnesses just got murdered. No one of the many federal agents working on HER case think to call her and maybe send some, you know, protection for her!

5. The Lone Ranger - Part II - I know the government has limited budget. How convenient that she's the only prosecutor working on this case. She's only trying to bring down a major cartel. I'm sure the government sends only one lawyer to work the case.

6. The lonely employee - what a bummer that major business buildings have only one employee working at them in the evening! Especially ones where prosecutors working on sensitive cases involving the drug cartels work! And this one employee gets killed so I guess no one can, you know, call the police or something. Too convenient for the bad guy!

Well, there's lots more fun in store too but don't want to spoil it or nothing!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One Of The Best Crime Thrillers Of All-Time

Author: Desertman84 from United States
9 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Collateral is a crime thriller film that stars Tom Cruise,Jamie Foxx,Jada Pinkett Smith and Mark Ruffalo.The movie is about a cab driver,Max.He finds himself on the hostage of a cold-blooded and charming contract killer,Vincent,who makes his rounds of killing during the driver's shift in Los Angeles. He must find a way to save both himself and one last victim.It was directed by Michael Mann.

Nightshift cab driver Max Durocher,Jamie Foxx in an Oscar nominated role, drives U.S. Justice Department prosecutor Annie Farrell,played excellently by Jada Pinkett Smith.She goes to her office to spend a night preparing for a pending federal grand jury drug indictment case convening the following day. Annie has an instant attraction to Max that makes her leave her business card as he drops her off her office building. Vincent,Tom Cruise in one of his best roles in his highly successful movie career,is a contract killer that hails the Max's cab next, explaining he is in town for one night closing a real estate deal.He bribes him with US$600 to chauffeur him to his five appointments. As Max waits at the first stop, Vincent enters an apartment complex and shoots Ramone Ayala and unexpectedly falls out of the window.The victim falls directly onto the cab, forcing Vincent to reveal himself as a killer to Max.He,then coerces him to hide the body in the trunk and continue with their arrangement through the night.Thus begins the adventure and unlikely relationship between Vincent and Max.

This is one of the best crime thrillers I have ever seen.Stuart Beattie's screenplay is realistic and just far from being an ordinary thriller that was far from predictable from beginning to end. The characters are portrayed with honesty especially Vincent and Max.It is noteworthy that Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx has excellent chemistry.Also commendable is the superb direction of Michael Mann.

Overall,the movie is highly recommended and deserves a 10/10 rating for people who not only loves crime thrillers but great movies as well.

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