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Collateral by Michael Mann

Wednesday 20 October 2004

Collateral by Michael Mann

Down here at Sounds we’re not huge fans of Michael Mann. Nevertheless he is an influencial figure in American Film. We do like stuff he did like The last of the Mohican with an incredible Daniel Day Lewis, and the three hour long Heat with an incredible duo of Al Pacino and Robert deNiro both fighting for winnnig the on screen charisma contest. In Collateral it’s time for another duo, but with different calibers: Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. I’m sure you’ve heard of the first, probably not of the second one. Well... he plays the cab driver, black obviously. Tom Cruise is rather full of charisma on screen, but doesn’t quite make it to the height at which we put de Niro and Pacino.

The film is about a road trip though LA during a night of cold killings. Vincent is a professionnal hitman out on the town for a number of hits that night. He needs transportation, and so picks the first cab he can get, and guess what... that cab driver is good. Jamie Foxx plays a "goodie goodie dude" who’s tempted by a long and well paid ride. Obviously he donesn’t know the kind of ride he’s in for. But his dream of starting a limosine company makes the money look worth it. Soon enough he discovers who this Vincent really is. And off we go into the action of the movie. I’m not gonna spoil it, because I believe it’s worth watching.

The film starts off tremendously well, with a very peculiar look on things, a very original approach to this kind of plot. The whole psychology of the characters is rather trivial, but that’s not what we’re in for. It’s hard to tell what attracts the spectator to this spiralling down thriller. Is it the sharply cut grain of the photography, the coolness of Tom Cruise, the 3 dollar bill philosophy that is discussed between the two protagonists? Having come under the charm of the movie, the second half of it did kind of ruin my appreciation, and now I have trouble finding the reasons for the charm. Indeed from the nightclub scene onwards the banality level just picks up and we get bored.

Strangely enough I would probably still recommend it...


Arthur

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