Epic!! one of the best movies in recent years i loved this & own the bluray.
Unexpectedly good. Both Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx give some solid performances. The plot is simple but it's very well done and engaging. The subway train scene is my favorite, I loved every second of it.
"A guy gets on the MTA here L.A. and dies. Think anybody'll notice?"
[7.4/10] There’s an unfulfilled need in movies and television for works that bridge the gap between heady prestige picture material and mindless action. Films like Inception and television shows like Daredevil play in that space, providing cool set pieces and rough and tumble thrills while also trying to Say Something™, but such offerings are few and far between. Not every action flick suddenly needs to suddenly ape Citizen Kane or Casablanca, but give me more films that include the usual fireworks, but also offer something for the audience to chew on.
That’s essentially where Collateral fits in, as a semi-heady but ultimately very familiar crime thriller. Director Michael Mann provides various artsy twists on that routine, from philosophical conversations between the film’s protagonists, to lingering symbolic sequences that don’t move the plot forward but add texture to those themes, and subversions here and there to try to assure the viewer that this isn’t just another cops and robbers flick.
But at it’s core, Collateral is still a standard issue bit of modern day action-packed crime noir. That gives the film a spine, something to hang its philosophy on and propel the plot forward, but it also limits the ability of the movie to transcend the tropes of the genre and become something more. It has the Fincher-esque washed out green color palette; it has the tet-a-tets among feds, local cops, hitmen, and gangsters, and its premise inevitably gives way to a standard “save the day, and the girl, from the bad guy” routine.
But it tries to distinguish itself from its peers in a number of ways, and Mann deserves credit for that. First and foremost, Collateral is a character story, centered around the arc of Max (Jamie Foxx), a cab driver who gets caught up in the world of mob hits and police investigations when hitman Vincent (Tom Cruise) steps into his cab. More than who lives or who dies or who achieves what, Collateral is about the gradual transformation of Max under Vincent’s insidious but self-actualizing influence.
The film is pretty clunky about it, but it quickly establishes Max as both a perfectionist, someone who is precise and knowledgeable about how long a certain route will take, and meticulous in the way he keeps his cab, and his life, as pristine as possible. Max is order and regimen incarnate, always waiting for when the time is right. In comes Vincent, who talks up jazz and the importance of improvisation, who is precise in his own way, but also ready to roll with the punches and above all, believes in acting without hesitation. And what do you know, they clash a bit!
Collateral isn’t subtle about any of this, wearing its themes and its character development on its sleeve. But it does show Vincent quickly seeing the potential in Max, diagnosing him as sharp and talented too hesitant to act, and pushing him to stand up for himself and realize that potential. He is, in a very twisted way, Max’s very own Manic Pixie Dream Girl. The film isn’t nearly as clever about this as it seems to think, with Vincent coming off like a cut-rate Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men (which is amusing with Javier Bardem in this movie) spouting dime store nihilism and ideology about the impertinence of morality in a vast, uncaring universe.
But it’s at least done with a purpose, to contrast Vincent who has seemingly gone too far in his “I can do anything because nothing matters” self-satisfaction with Max’s “I can’t do anything because everything matters” ethos. Max has to get everything right, eliminate all the risks and attain perfection before he’s willing to move, while Vincent is decisive to a fault, disdaining such risk calculations as foolish in a world where plans can be dashed and lives can be changed in an instant, something he and his profession are a living testament to.
Cruise and Foxx go a long way toward elevating these individuals to becoming characters with layers and not just walking embodiments of certain isms. Foxx indicates a bit too much, but does a nice job at distinguishing the moments when Max is a reluctant guy who is out of his depth, and the moments where his own self-direction and confidence starts to peek out and take over. Cruise in particular is stellar playing against type here. Beyond the salt and pepper, he brings a quiet intensity to a morally compromised figure, making cheesy monologues sound plausible and conveying a cold conviction that serves the character well.
Mann also knows how to construct a superb action set piece. The coup de grâce of the film is a sequence set in a dance club with our would-be heroes, rival gangsters, FBI agents, and cops are all chasing one another through one crowded dance floor. Mann and cinematographers Dion Beebe and Paul Cameron capture the tension of these different players making their way through the crowd, and the chaos that ensues when the shooting inevitably starts. It’s artfully done, and practically justifies the existence of the film on its own.
Which is good, because after that point, Collateral loses its grip on its themes and its plot, devolving into the default gestures and threats that come in a typical action thriller. There’s still artistry to it, with Vincent’s shadows looming and the symbolism of people’s images mirrored in reflective surfaces, but suddenly the film becomes a slasher flick. Vincent becomes a nigh-supernatural antagonist, in a contrived final scenario, and of course it provides the fodder for Max to, once and for all, face his own propensity to hesitate.
Collateral is about seizing opportunities, and the risk that without action, those opportunities get away from you. The film itself presents such an opportunity, to use the form of the action-y crime drama to get at deeper themes and meaning rather than settle for the standard cat and mouse game. At times, Michael Mann and Collateral achieve this, providing enough thematic heft to give weight to the usual fisticuffs and shoot-em-ups, but too often the film retreats to the regular conventions of the genre and, like Max, misses the change to be something greater in the process.
Starts great, continues strong but finishes weak.
After the night club scene the police are no longer involved in the movie at all. The reason this is bad is because the authorities all thought that Max was the murderer apart from one cop who believed he was actually just the taxi driver. However, we saw him take multiple shots at close range that dropped him & we don't know if he lived.
We don't know what happened to Max with this poor ending, the police had ID'd him already so he is a suspect and he also cuffed a policeman at gunpoint. He had a witness who is high ranking in the legal system to back him up but he could have also been shot on sight by some angry cops after what happened at the nightclub.
I think you could also argue that the story as it is told is lacking substance, we are fed traces of why the hitman is working; he is eliminating witnesses. So what happened with that? Did justice prevail since the last witness survived?
I guess we are entitled to draw our own conclusions and finish the ending ourselves since none was provided.
7/10 Fantastic acting but I feel they should have taken another 15 minutes to properly conclude the story.
Movies are always better when Tom Cruise runs in them.
Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx best movie ever.
This is quite watchable and I think the two main actors are doing well, with the killer being especially bad ass. I felt the female cast was pretty weak in performance, and the character both forgettable and just artificially made important emotionally.
Maybe it is more important to note what the movie lacks rather than what he has:
The whole investigation plot did stop suddenly, with no meaningful outcome either. It really let's one wonder: Why does it even exist? Or did they plan more of it and scrap other huge parts of it?On a personal note, after the Max, the driver, made a very self-believing bet at the start of the movie, one might assume as I did it would be either a major repeating theme throughout the movie or would happen at an important show-down moment: Will you let me go if I win this, and if I loose you can kill us both? Neither did happen, and it was only used a single other time, but pretty irrelevant even.
You can still find quite some enjoyment in this movie, however.
Collateral might actually be my favorite movie from Michael Mann. Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx both gave great and unforgettable performance in this movie. The fact that Tom Cruise is playing a villain was so brilliant and payed off excellently well, and that was pulled off by the writing, the directing, and Cruise himself.
Michael Mann has a beautiful and yet stunning vision of LA nights that got me this warm feeling inside of me with this open world feel to it and the amazing cinematography that got me so awe-stuck. A lot of people say 'Heat' is they favorite Michael Mann movie and while I do like that movie, but I got to say that I enjoyed and loved Collateral a little more.
It's almost impossible not to compare any Michael Mann film to Heat, one which most people will regard as his masterpiece and a landmark in action cinema, though I personally think The Insider is equally brilliant.
Collateral is probably his fourth best film behind Heat, The Insider, and Last of the Mohicans – it's a brilliant high concept film (a hitman hires a cab driver to help him kill five witnesses in an upcoming court case) and fascinating character study of both the protagonist and antagonist, with taxi driver Max and hitman Vincent being interesting and engaging characters, and the relationship between them is a main reason why this film works so well.
I think it's a visually stylish movie with a great soundtrack, with a perfect use of Audioslave's Shadow of the Sun, and the performances from Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx are both extremely good, with supporting roles from Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, and Javier Bardem all noteworthy. It's been a long time since I saw this and had forgotten how much I like and admire it.
I just rewatched this and the fact that it still holds up as one of the greatest thrillers of the post millennium era is a testament to its greatness.Easily Manns best work and Cruise and Foxx really shines throughout.
An excellent movie. Michael Mann does character tension excellently. Jamie Foxx was excellent, and Tom Cruise was an unexpected delight. On subsequent viewings it's still a very strong very comprehensive film filled with characters that we don't really know that well but we do empathize with. I dont' really feel like I know Max but I do feel like I understand every thing he does. Not a lot of stupid decisions here.
I've always been down on this movie because I remember watching it in theaters and not being a huge fan. I revisited it now because I'm trying to get the most out of this one week trial on Cinemax and I was pleasantly surprised to like it.....just a little bit more than I did initially. Cruise is my boy, and he's great....but it was hard for me to wrap around what a terrible hitman he is. I know we have to just accept it because hey it's a movie. I can usually do that...but I couldn't get past the fact tht if he's this superhero hitman, why wouldn't he switch cars once the cops clocked their broken window, why wouldn't he just shoot Max, etc etc. But if you can get past that, it's a good thriller. Also it's weird because there are two people in this movie (Foxx and Bardem) that would go on to date or marry two of Cruise's exes (Holmes and Cruz). Also, speaking of Bardem, dude is wayyyyy sexier as an older man today. Like, way sexier!
Great movie. I like how Max, near the end of the movie, said two of the things Vincent said in the taxi at the beginning of the movie. Same with how Vincent's last words was also something he said to Max in the taxi. It's the little details that count.
I was quite surprised by this one.Some fantastic action scenes and gun play. I quite enjoyed the camera work and set/scene design.Plot was intriguing and some unseen twists.Acting was good, although a little stiff.
Awesome thriller. Cruise and Foxx are great in it, which is perfectly complemented by Mann's gritty style. These are very human and believable characters and when they collide the result is dynamite. This is one of Mann's best movies.
Michael Mann's best next to Heat, Thief and the Last of the Mohicans. But come on the end gets silly. A taxi driver a better shot than a trained killer ? Otherwise the film is almost solid.
Surprisingly funny and entertaining to watch for a movie with as simple a plot as Collateral has: professional killer Vincent has to eliminate 5 targets in one night to avoid a trial against an drug lord. To get around fast enough in L.A. he hires a cab for the entire night and by making the cabbie Max his accomplice after the first murder, Vincent tries to force Max to cooperate for the remaining 4 murders. While Max tries to obstruct Vincent as much as possible, he only achieves the killing of bystanders when they get shot be Vincent or the police during the 2nd, 3rd and 4th murder.
Shortly before the last target is located, Max can stage an accident with his cab and thereby escape from Vincent's grip, only to find out that the last target is a recent acquaintance of his: DoJ prosecutor Annie. Max then risks his own life to safe Annie. That he achieves only in an all-out gun shooting with Vincent, which he miraculously wins. This ending (cab driver Max shooting the professional assassin Vincent) and the casting of Tom Cruise for the role of Vincent are the two things that I did not like about Collateral.
Sehr beeindruckender Film!Hat mich zum nachdenken gebracht!
Great movie with both Cruise and Foxx delivering solid performances.
Cool and quite interesting, underrated! :)