I just finished watching Collateral, the 2004 film starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. This Michael Mann film was far better than I thought it would be in the trailers.

Jamie Foxx delivers a magnificently convincing portrayal of Max, a philosophizing cab driver who knows the streets of Los Angeles in intimate detail. A hitman named Vincent (played by Tom Cruise) hires Max’s cab to drive him on his rounds. On the first round, Vincent kills his first mark, drops it on the taxi, and forces Max to drive him around town. The tension is palpable and the picture has that edgy, almost-off-the-rails quality that kept me on the edge of the futon. Foxx plays the role of the hapless Max to perfection, garnering our sympathy as we hoped this guy would figure out some way to get away from Vincent without getting him or anyone he cares about killed.

The picture is brilliantly directed, has a good soundtrack, and a wonderfully tense story. Fight and crash sequences are gritty and realistic. This is a well-designed action/thriller. Brilliant acting abounds throughout, particularly by Jamie Foxx, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role.

My grade: B+.


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