Writer: Stuart Beattie (Screenplay)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Bruce McGill, Javier Bardem
Plot: A cab driver finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in Los Angeles. He must find a way to save both himself and one last victim.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Slick Thriller
Story: Collateral starts as we see stranger Vincent (Cruise) arriving in Los Angeles for a job. We also meet mild-mannered cab driver Max (Foxx) who knows all the streets in Los Angeles, the two end up on a collision cause as Max gets talked into taking Vincent around Los Angeles for the night, that is until Max learns that Vincent is a hitman.
Vincent forces Max into taking him around town as he completes his missions as he looks to avoid trouble, but also offers him a chance to teach him about standing up for himself and the morals about the murders he is committing. The two end up getting caught up in the middle of a cat and mouse chase around Los Angeles all in one night.
Collateral is a thriller that fills all the cat and mouse we love to see, nothing is overplayed and with everything taking place over one night we get a real feel for the timing side of the story. I do feel the supporting characters do get neglected which does end up working on both scales, we get more time with the leading two but doesn’t make us care about them. Overall this is a good slick story that all works for the genre.
Tom Cruise: Vincent is the hitman who has come to Los Angeles to complete a job over the course of one night, he ends up using Max as his taxi service for the night. He kills anyone who gets in the way but he also doesn’t want to kill anyone he doesn’t need too. He comes off like a good guy and is always good at his job. Tom gives us a great performance in this role as hitman.
Jamie Foxx: Max is the mild-mannered taxi driver who knows every single street in Los Angeles, he ends up picking up Vincent who puts him through the middle of the worst night of his life as he had to assist him on his killing spree or be killed. Jamie goes toe to toe with Tom which is always difficult for any big named actor.
Jada Pinkett Smith: Annie is the hot shot lawyer that happens to be a passenger in Max’s cab before Vincent, the two get flirting and we get the potential love interest for Max in the future. Jada does a solid job but doesn’t get the screen time we would like to see.
Mark Ruffalo: Fanning is one of the cops hot the trail of what is happening on the night when one of his men went missing, he puts things together faster than the rest of the authorities. Mark does well in this supporting role but doesn’t make a big enough impact in the end.
Support Cast: Collateral doesn’t get the supporting cast enough screen time to make much impact in the final outcome.
Director Review: Michael Mann – Michael brings his style to the hitman film which all works for the final cat and mouse between Max and Vincent.
Crime: Collateral has a good crime story going on with the bigger picture to what Vincent is up to.
Thriller: Collateral keeps you on the edge of your seat while you watch all interaction between Max and Vincent.
Settings: Collateral use the one night in Los Angeles for the story which all looks very cinematic throughout.
Special Effects: Collateral has good effects with the kills but doesn’t turn to them too often.
Suggestion: Collateral is one to watch for all the crime thriller fans out there. (Watch)
Best Part: First kill reaction.
Worst Part: Lack of support character time.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars
Budget: $65 Million
Runtime: 2 Hours
Tagline: It started like any other night
Trivia: The seating of the two leads was crucial to certain scenes. For their more intimate exchanges, Cruise would sit directly behind Foxx, out of his peripheral vision and therefore making him more vulnerable and uncertain of his opponent.
Overall: Very enjoyable thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat as Cruise shines yet again.