Collateral is a soulful ballad of death in an exquisitely photographed evening-time LA. Michael Mann exceeds in the highest regard at creating an additive, aesthetically cool atmosphere by combining the forces of cinematography and music. These elements mold to create a fluidity, a smooth rhythm, and with the plot centering around an odyssey bullet-pointed with murder, the rhythm is punctuated by stellar action and marvelous supporting actors. Leading is Tom Cruise, delivering his best work since PTA’s Magnolia. His embodiment of a transcendental-minded hitman named Vincent is of a very high quality that I never would have predicted. Jamie Foxx plays down his magnetic charisma, and, with the help of some intelligent costuming, his size. The movie is dominantly these two men, in transit, exchanging dialogue, and the result is pure chemical entrapment. It’s a visually gritty, sultry, humanistic piece with a brush of dark comedy and a enchanting dose of symbolism.