Anthony's Film Review

Collateral (2004)

Two A-list stars face off in a nice premise for a crime thriller...

Collateral is a crime drama directed by Michael Mann and starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. Both actors are noteworthy here for their own reasons. Cruise is someone who generally accepts protagonist roles, but he is a villain this time. Jamie Foxx started his entertainment career in comedy and makes a leap into drama. As a result, their performances are interesting to see. They're not just good actors. They're good actors in new types of roles.

Jamie Foxx plays Max, a Los Angeles taxi cab driver who is on his usual night-shift around the city. Briefly, he converses with Jada Pinkett Smith as Annie, a businesswoman who rides in the cab to her destination. Once she leaves, Max soon picks up a man named Vincent, played by Tom Cruise. Max is suspicious of Vincent but plays it cool as he takes Vincent to his destination.

The situation then takes a disturbing turn. Someone is thrown out of a window and lands on Max's taxi cab. He learns the startling truth. Vincent is a hitman who pulls Max into a crime as an unwilling accessory. To make matter worse, Max cannot escape. He would surely face death if he tries to run. He has no choice but to drive Vincent around to each destination where the killer would score more hits.

The movie involves this continuing series of crimes and an exploration into these characters, particularly Vincent. There is a nice action scene in a nightclub and a climactic chase sequence. They're not exactly the most thrilling action scenes I've ever seen and I wasn't on the edge of my seat. Nevertheless, the suspense was there and made the film watchable.

Even with a plot like this one, I mainly enjoyed Collateral as a vehicle for its two principal stars. Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx can certainly expand their talents into an endless array of film roles if they want to. If this movie had, instead of Cruise and Foxx, two other actors who are typically well known for crime films, the quality of the performances might not differ much but the whole film would lose that fascination of actors exploring new territory. I think it was wise to cast Cruise and Foxx for Collateral. They made the movie more interesting than it would be otherwise.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Collateral, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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