Movie of the Week: ‘Collateral’

Tom Cruise turned 59 years young on July 3, and AHFW is celebrating with a fantastic Cruise performance in director Michael Mann’s thriller, “Collateral”.

“Collateral” (2004) – Mann’s crime story runs all over the vast, sprawling City of Angeles into the wee hours of the evening, but at its narrative’s core, the film pits two men in a taxing confrontation, who sit just a few feet from one another.

A cab driver, Max (Jamie Foxx), picks up a real estate executive, Vincent (Tom Cruise), in front of a towering downtown glass and steel building, and the new customer offers 600 dollars for our cabbie to drive him around the city to make five stops. 

Vincent (Tom Cruise)

Hey, it’s Max’s lucky day! 

Not so much, as Vincent isn’t who he appears to be, and Max is caught in an evening of deception and violence.  Other than “Interview with the Vampire” (1994), Cruise never plays a true villain, but Vincent is a fearsome, formidable foe – who also dons a tight shock of grey hair – in this mano e mano mind game. 

Cruise should shed his Maverick/Jerry Maguire/Ethan Hunt on-screen persona more often, as he conjures up a ruthless, whip smart, and constantly calculating scoundrel here in one of his all-time best performances.   Foxx is equally as engaging as a laidback dreamer, a guy who drives a cab “temporarily”, while he puts his limousine business plan together. 

Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith)

Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Javier Bardem, and Bruce McGill co-star, and Jason Statham makes an ever-so-brief appearance, so don’t blink.  Chances are that your eyes will be wide-open throughout this taught, suspenseful flick. 

“Collateral” is classic Michael Mann.

⭐⭐⭐ 1/2 out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Images credits: DreamWorks Pictures

Directed by: Michael Mann

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Mark Ruffalo, Jada Pinkett Smith, Peter Berg, Javier Bardem, Bruce McGill, and Jason Statem

Runtime: 120 minutes

Rated: R

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