HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Maeve
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
   
 
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
   
 
  Collateral Taxi Driver
Year: 2004
Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Bruce McGill, Irma P. Hall, Barry Shabaka Henley, Javier Bardem
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 9 votes)
Review: Max (Jamie Foxx) has worked as a Los Angeles taxi driver for 12 years. One night he picks up a sharply-dressed middle-aged man called Vincent (Tom Cruise) who tells Max he will pay $600 to be driven to five separate locations throughout the city, in order to complete a series of business deals. Max accepts, but he soon learns that Vincent is in fact a contract killer and each stop is to enable him to kill a key participant in a trial about to indite a drug baron.

If there’s one thing you can rely on Michael Mann to do, it’s crank up the tension. For all its flash and bombast, there was little denying the pulsing, visceral energy of Heat, while his best thrillers – Manhunter and The Insider – are two of the finest of their respective decades. And Collateral has an unusual, claustrophobic set-up, with Max a hostage in his own taxi, forced to drive this remorseless hitman from one bloody murder to the next. Unfortunately, Mann misjudges this one, and it emerges as one of his weakest pictures, a great idea lost in a sea of unsubtlety and ludicrous plotting.

The casting is strong; Tom Cruise flirted with darker characters in Interview with a Vampire and Magnolia, but this is his first full-blown villain. And Cruise is certainly good – even if it takes a while to get past the fact it’s Tom Cruise you’re seeing gunning down innocent people – alternating between an off-hand charm and a chilling determination to get the job done at any cost. Jamie Foxx matches Cruise, downplaying his role as the quiet cabbie with big dreams. Mann wisely chooses not to build up too much chemistry between killer and hostage, and Foxx remains convincingly terrified of the smooth-talking man in the backseat. Elsewhere we have Jada Pinkett Smith as an attorney that Max picks up just before Vincent, and Mark Ruffalo and Peter Berg as a pair of cops hot on Vincent’s trail.

Collateral is the sort of film that someone like Walter Hill or Sidney Lumet would’ve handled perfectly in the 70s; it needs that cold, blank tone that Hill brought to his cult classic The Driver. But Mann is on full Miami Vice-overdrive here, ladling on preposterously loud rock music where a scene really doesn’t need any. After that epic, gripping street gunbattle in Heat, I’d started thinking that maybe the director had finally learnt that a tense scene doesn’t always need a pounding score, but he’s back to his old tricks here. Clumsy attempts at humour – Vincent arguing with Max’s supervisor over the car radio, the pair inexplicably going to visit Max’s mother in hospital – sit uncomfortably with the darker elements, and the climax features one of the most convoluted, groan-inducing plot developments I’ve seen all year. It’s always good to see Mark Ruffalo, but having been set up as one of the film’s major characters, his role is barely developed and he exits the film in a very abrupt manner.

There are of course flashes of what makes Mann a great director, in particular a white-knuckle scene in which Max is forced to impersonate Vincent in front of the drug baron who hired him (a superb cameo from Javier Bardem), while the grainy digital photography captures an gritty night-time LA that few films set in the city have. But by the end, Collateral has descended into typical serial killer mode as Cruise chases Foxx and Pinkett Smith through a subway train á la Dennis Hopper in Speed and Foxx has transformed from meek and mild cabbie to gun-waving macho man. Disappointing.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 7609 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Mann  (1943 - )

American writer/director whose flashy, dramatic style has made for considerable commerical success on the big and small screen. After writing for television during the late 70s, he made his debut with the thriller Thief. The Keep was a failed horror adaptation, but Mann's TV cop show Miami Vice was a massive international success, while 1986's Manhunter, based on Thomas Harris's Red Dragon, was one of the decade's best thrillers.

Last of the Mohicans was a rip-roaring period adventure, Heat a dynamic if overlong cops 'n' robbers story, and The Insider a gripping real-life conspiracy thriller. 2002's Ali, Mann's much-touted biography of the legendary boxer, was a bit of an anti-climax, but as ever, stylishly rendered. Mann's next film was the thriller Collateral, starring Tom Cruise as a ruthless contract killer, and his big screen updating of Miami Vice divided opinion, as did his vintage gangster recreation Public Enemies. His cyber-thriller Blackhat was a resounding flop.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: