Thursday, July 30, 2009

Collateral (2004) - Tom Cruise - Jamie Foxx

yes, it was on network TV here in UK last night, hence this impromptu (and long overdue) appreciation.

Directed by Michael Mann and written by Stuart Beattie, this is a crackin' little film about a cab driver who finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in LA [imdb].

Forget the grin-shining Top Gun. Forget the Mission Impossible hero. Tom Cruise plays a white-haired (brutal) Jackel in this street-wise, engaging film. The script itself, with its transmutating cat-becomes-mouse narrative, really engaging and really believable, is its own encapsulated Stockholm Syndrome.

You are intimately linked to each character (and this link is cleverly reinforced over and over again by the film's engaging script) so that the fate of one is interwoven with the fate of the other. And you believe that human logic/intuition will overcome the terrible tasks both have been set. Forget the almost European-cinema-inevitability of the encroaching climax at your peril; your gut tells you this isn't gonna end well.

Cruise is great. Foxx is great. Mann is solid at the directorial helm. Both cinematography and editing are alluring and enticing, a moth to the flame. Script is everything.

Well done then, most of all, to Stuart Beattie.

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