Stars: *** 1/2
Rating: R for extreme violence and language
Run Time: 1 hour, 59 minutes
Hooray for Michael Mann (The Insider), who once again brings his singular vision and stylish chic to the big screen.
and Jamie Foxx headline this provocative anti-buddy picture, converting
ordinary into the extraordinary with their self-possessed chemistry and easy
repartee. Foxx is Max, a laid-back
Max picks up a seemingly standard fare and the world as he knows it goes kaboom. Vincent (Cruise) is a disenfranchised killer, out on the town for a spectacular string of hits on five witnesses involved in the federal prosecution of a drug cartel. Vincent bullies the reluctant driver into chauffeuring him through the jobs, but Max wants none of it (Vincent: “I off one fat Angeleno and you throw a hissy fit!”).
Vincent’s take-no-prisoners attitude sets the tone for a ruthless evening of cold-blooded killing. This menacing bloodbath attracts the attention of a Detective Fanning (Mark Ruffalo), who dances dangerously close to his man as the fur begins to fly.
Cruise is all sharp angles as an insolent hit-man sans conscience, born to be bad and more than happy to prove it. He’s slick and grey and unrecognizable as his megawatt self. Foxx performs wonders with a badass sociopath in his backseat, smoothly transitioning from mild-mannered yes-man to serious player. Jada Pinkett Smith eats up the screen in a small but pivotal role as the wrong place, wrong time girl.
Collateral is vintage Mann, shot in tight close-up with smart tone
to spare. His is a gritty valentine to the mean streets of