A high-octane nocturnal thriller with Tom Cruise in maybe his best role. The cab works perfectly as a closed system with exotic exits from a sprawled and alienated urban milieu. Mann's extraordinary vision of the megalopolis does wonders here too, but there are serious flaws such as the far fetched sequence with Bardem at the night club. As a film that deals with indeterminacy, it fits Mann's universe with style.
When this came out it felt like a blockbusting application of the digital tools indie filmmakers had been experimenting with for at least a decade. It was exciting to watch. But today Collateral plays more like a clumsy prototype to the digital norm that now rules Hollywood. Great performances from Fox and Cruise also can't surmount a string of contrivances and an infuriating, tacked on damsel in distress trope.
Two stars just for the club scene. It's like trying to blend the realism of Mean Streets with Mission Impossible. That's a lazy analogy, but basically the components here don't create a good fusion. Tom Cruise as some bad ass assassin is fine for movies like Mission Impossible, which blows, but in a movie trying to be taken seriously, it's counter-intuitive. The structure and tone make the same mistake.
Works as an adrenaline rush, and a metaphor for a triumphant revolution against 1st-world nations apathetic complacency of hypocritical morals that spawn eventual murder of the marginalized contained in their society and abroad. Foxx's journey from zero to hero over the bourgeoisie predator of Cruise is equated to the overthrow of an unfair ruling class towards a union with Pinkett's open-minded academic.
Stylish and engaging, this movie made me see Tom Cruise with a renewed appreciation for his talents and suave looks. Mann's camerawork is fantastic, I'm a sucker for this movie's cinematography and aesthetics, it's gorgeous. Ruffalo gets too little screen time for my taste. Lame soundtrack.