Archive Review: Collateral (2004)

A great, tense thriller, with a fantastic cast and excellent nail biting atmosphere from beginning to end.  I highly recommend.

Certificate: 15

Director: Michael Mann

Screenwriter: Stuart Beattie

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith

Genre: Crime, Thriller

Runtime: 120 Minutes

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

Max Durocher is a night-shift cab driver in Los Angeles. He’s planning a limo company called Island Limos, but has been a cab driver for twelve years. One night, he picks up a passenger named Vincent who seems like another ordinary passenger. But when he drops Vincent off at his location and waits for him as asked, a body falls on his cab, and it becomes clear that Vincent is actually a hitman, and he’s got four more stops to make. – From IMDB

Tom Cruise can be a major hit or miss for me.  Some of his films are great, some mediocre and others are just plain bad.  But this one I am glad to say is actually pretty damn good.  It helps that the hair and make-up on Cruise make him almost unrecognisable, so I can almost forget it’s him. He plays Vincent, a hit man who is holding a taxi driver hostage many making him drive around LA all night, while he takes out his targets.   Cruise is brilliant as the heartless assassin, but it is really Jamie Foxx’s performance that makes the film brilliant.

Foxx plays the unlucky cab driver, and his performance is just brilliant.  He transforms from an unsure, quiet persona, too one that is fighting for his life.  His character goes through a whole lot in this film and Foxx is on top of it the whole time.  So much s it earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, he would have been a shoe-in had he not been running against Morgan Freeman. 

Jada Pinkett Smith is kind of underused in this film.  You see her right at the very beginning, in the cab talking to Max, and then we all but forget about her until the very end of the film, when suddenly she is important again.  A sad under use of a great actress, but also a sad underuse of what could have been a really interesting character.  A prosecution Lawyer and a tough woman, she should have had more screen time here.

The whole police/FBI side-plot seemed a little redundant, and really was only integral to the gun fight in the nightclub.  The main crux of the story could have been played out without them, they would have just had to find a way to connect all the killings together.  Of course we would have missed out on that wonderfully shot nightclub fight, but sacrifices have to be made sometimes. A great story great acting and lots of gun fights for those who enjoy such a thing.  Collateral is available to buy on Amazon Prime now for £5.99

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