Michael Mann has always managed to win me over in his films by his style of storytelling alone. Collateral is no exception. The story begins with a slow simmer and some of the most extraordinary cinematography I have seen of a city in a long time. Huge wide-angle shots of sky-scrapers with the taxi in the foreground in the corner. Aerial shots of city streets viewed from high above. This expansive view creates the sense of insignificance that is built upon later in the film.
Jamie Fox is set to launch his career as a certified marquee player this year. This role alone would have possibly done it, but later this year he will show up again in Ray. Oscar talk regarding Ray will be of little surprise in my opinion based on what I’ve seen from the trailer. This guy is on fire.
Tom Cruise drops the good guy shtick and shows up as a hitman with a busy night ahead of him. Drapped in a gray suit, Cruise’s character is later found to be similar of a lone wolf crossing the street later in the film. The predator nature of Vincent then seems to really become clear.
The film doesn’t dabble long in the area of plot development, although it does more than it needed to. I walked out with a solid thumbs up and feeling satisfied with the conclusion of the film. I was hoping that the film would avoid the common “coincidence” plot line that plagues most semi-realistic films, but even so, this film did it in a way that one could simply say, “I guess that makes sense…” The one saving grace is that for once, you really aren’t sure which way the movie is going to end until it does leaving you with a sense of actually being entertained rather than simply waiting for the enevitable.