For twelve years, Max (Jamie Foxx) has worked night shifts for an L.A. taxi company in the hope of one day being able to set up his own limousine company, Island Limos. On the same night he drives an attractive young lawyer to her offices to prepare for a court case the following morning, an estate agent (Tom Cruise) climbs in the back of Max’s cab. However, Max quickly finds out that the estate agent, who calls himself Vincent, is not who or what he says he is when he drops him off at his first destination and finds a dead body dropped on top of his cab, only to discover that Vincent had shot him a few seconds beforehand. As it turns out, Vincent has been hired by a huge criminal organisation to eliminate all prosecution witnesses in a trial taking place the next day. He picks them off one by one until there is just one person left to silence – the prosecutor herself. Yes, the exact same one Max was chatting up earlier that night. So, guess whose job it is to save her?
Collateral is an adrenaline-fuelled thriller from director Michael Mann, the person behind legendary crime flick, Heat. Whilst I did enjoy it, I’m not entirely convinced it lived up to it’s five-star rating. I confess right now that I did watch it purely because I knew Javier Bardem would appear at some point, and considering he was on-screen for a total of about five minutes, that probably wasn’t the right reason to watch it. Plus, I’m not the greatest lover of Tom Cruise – I don’t know what it is about him but he just doesn’t do it for me.
However, saying that, he was fun to watch as hit an Vincent. Throughout the whole film, he showed absolutely zero emotion towards anything. And the way he dressed in the grey suit with the silver hair made him seem even more like a machine, although his reliance on Max humanised him slightly. He was merciless nonetheless, and the unpredictable nature he had made the film very exciting at times.
Foxx as Max was just as good as Cruise. I very much enjoyed him on Django Unchained and so was quietly optimistic of his performance in Collateral. He was, again, very good and I think I’m right in saying he received an Oscar nod in recognition of the show he put on. Max was your typical unlikely hero, which I suppose is nothing new, but there was something about him that breathed new life into the role and made him very enjoyable to watch.
I quite enjoyed the story, although I sort of knew how it would end before it finished purely because of the type of plot it was. This is why I’m not entirely persuaded that it deserved it’s five-star rating. It was just a bit too predictable, and too much of something we had seen before – think something along the lines of Die Hard in a taxi.
Overall, I would say Collateral is a film you should perhaps watch if there happens to be nothing else on TV one night. I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it for a second time and I won’t be forcing it on my friends – however if they fancy watching it, I won’t put them off it either.