Collateral Reviews

  • Feb 18, 2020

    Coming at early the intersection of film and digital, and a real evolution point of Michael Mann as a filmmaker, Collateral is a tight, finely tuned, experimental and influential existential action movie that gets nowhere near the acclaim it deserves. There's something resonant in the movie where every action, reaction, choice and beat of interplay feels charged from some hidden backstory or led by something we've already seen or heard earlier in the movie. Motivation and metaphor bleed together in typical Mann style and it creates something magical. Collateral is a tone poem painted visually. It's about dreams, doubt and self-deception. It's about ambition, duty and assertiveness. It takes well-worn tropes and structure and uses it to blow the doors off the action genre, and is more influential than it ever gets credit for. Beattie's script is a masterclass. It teases and delivers the correct amount of information. It's tangible in the way John Wick isn't and yet is mythical in the same proportion. It's crackling dialogue and rich slowly evolving characterisations are broad and cinematic and yet distill down the heart of man. And with this weaving script that manages to add and build, there's still a sense of immediacy to it. Mann elevating the material to something that's not stilted when it could be or bloated and instead is a compressed life-changing intersection. It's hard to overstate how unique it was to see Tom Cruise on screen portraying what felt like we we're seeing a new kind of professional on screen. A worker. His grey suit the perfect tool to obfuscate or blend in. He's a smart guy. A real guy, but a different, a broken man. The mechanical workmanlike specialist. The utter professional, a modern big city equivalent counterpoint to Reno's Leon. And Foxx is spectacular in this, the role he really needed. Rich, nuanced and shows range and a clear arc. The creepy plot of a mechanical hitman, more Terminator or Jason than Jason Bourne was new at the time, the film layers in just enough information so that the thought that this has happened at least once before, successfully, lends a different air of tension to their conversations. The fact that he's killed the taxi driver before twists everything we're seeing. Mann reminds us he's a wild animal, a hunter, a consummate professional and by virtue, a virtuoso, a jazz musician currently on his stage. Mann's evolving use of the digital landscape where I'm sure he flirted with it in Ali, intensifies how personal and different this movie really was. Mann uses digital teasingly, almost mockingly grainy at the start until the true uniqueness of digital is shown in the night shots, the interplay between foreground light and colour, the closeness to the subjects is uncomfortable and apt. The editing and framing creates an uneasy personal tension in a paparazzi-esque manner. The sound mix does this also to mixed-effect; the gunshots and the crashes and the cracking of bones is a palpably shocking, realistic, frightening affair (sort of started a new trend in action flicks after) and the road noise rumble of the cars is lyrical and musical in its own special way, but sometimes the mix swallows dialogue up, or causes the cardinal home movie sin of making the viewier have to adjust volumes between types of scenes. But then most of Mann's movies do this, I think it's just the way he likes it, it does support his style and his choices but it makes for intermittently unenjoyable viewing. His choice of music, however, has the same quality and taste it always does. In this case it's just sumptuous, poppy and jazzy armchair choons. Collateral is a great fusion of a clever script from a good writer taken on a spin by an auteur in a different but equally special way. Also Peter Berg and Mark Ruffalo play cops. That was nice.

    Coming at early the intersection of film and digital, and a real evolution point of Michael Mann as a filmmaker, Collateral is a tight, finely tuned, experimental and influential existential action movie that gets nowhere near the acclaim it deserves. There's something resonant in the movie where every action, reaction, choice and beat of interplay feels charged from some hidden backstory or led by something we've already seen or heard earlier in the movie. Motivation and metaphor bleed together in typical Mann style and it creates something magical. Collateral is a tone poem painted visually. It's about dreams, doubt and self-deception. It's about ambition, duty and assertiveness. It takes well-worn tropes and structure and uses it to blow the doors off the action genre, and is more influential than it ever gets credit for. Beattie's script is a masterclass. It teases and delivers the correct amount of information. It's tangible in the way John Wick isn't and yet is mythical in the same proportion. It's crackling dialogue and rich slowly evolving characterisations are broad and cinematic and yet distill down the heart of man. And with this weaving script that manages to add and build, there's still a sense of immediacy to it. Mann elevating the material to something that's not stilted when it could be or bloated and instead is a compressed life-changing intersection. It's hard to overstate how unique it was to see Tom Cruise on screen portraying what felt like we we're seeing a new kind of professional on screen. A worker. His grey suit the perfect tool to obfuscate or blend in. He's a smart guy. A real guy, but a different, a broken man. The mechanical workmanlike specialist. The utter professional, a modern big city equivalent counterpoint to Reno's Leon. And Foxx is spectacular in this, the role he really needed. Rich, nuanced and shows range and a clear arc. The creepy plot of a mechanical hitman, more Terminator or Jason than Jason Bourne was new at the time, the film layers in just enough information so that the thought that this has happened at least once before, successfully, lends a different air of tension to their conversations. The fact that he's killed the taxi driver before twists everything we're seeing. Mann reminds us he's a wild animal, a hunter, a consummate professional and by virtue, a virtuoso, a jazz musician currently on his stage. Mann's evolving use of the digital landscape where I'm sure he flirted with it in Ali, intensifies how personal and different this movie really was. Mann uses digital teasingly, almost mockingly grainy at the start until the true uniqueness of digital is shown in the night shots, the interplay between foreground light and colour, the closeness to the subjects is uncomfortable and apt. The editing and framing creates an uneasy personal tension in a paparazzi-esque manner. The sound mix does this also to mixed-effect; the gunshots and the crashes and the cracking of bones is a palpably shocking, realistic, frightening affair (sort of started a new trend in action flicks after) and the road noise rumble of the cars is lyrical and musical in its own special way, but sometimes the mix swallows dialogue up, or causes the cardinal home movie sin of making the viewier have to adjust volumes between types of scenes. But then most of Mann's movies do this, I think it's just the way he likes it, it does support his style and his choices but it makes for intermittently unenjoyable viewing. His choice of music, however, has the same quality and taste it always does. In this case it's just sumptuous, poppy and jazzy armchair choons. Collateral is a great fusion of a clever script from a good writer taken on a spin by an auteur in a different but equally special way. Also Peter Berg and Mark Ruffalo play cops. That was nice.

  • Feb 06, 2020

    Great film involving a taxi.

    Great film involving a taxi.

  • Jan 18, 2020

    Although slightly clichéd at times, Collateral delivered on the sheer intensity I wanted from it, and gave me a nice side dish of a few phenomenal performances as well.

    Although slightly clichéd at times, Collateral delivered on the sheer intensity I wanted from it, and gave me a nice side dish of a few phenomenal performances as well.

  • Nov 20, 2019

    A true classic with a real feel throughout, great cast, great story. great design and camera work - It has it all.

    A true classic with a real feel throughout, great cast, great story. great design and camera work - It has it all.

  • Oct 11, 2019

    A smart, and also intense movie that is perfectly acted and wonderfully written.

    A smart, and also intense movie that is perfectly acted and wonderfully written.

  • Oct 08, 2019

    This is one of the two greatest movies in the history of all living memory!!!

    This is one of the two greatest movies in the history of all living memory!!!

  • Oct 03, 2019

    Jarring and compelling. Parts of the plot are a stretch for the audience but it achieves its poignant and ironic ending anyway.

    Jarring and compelling. Parts of the plot are a stretch for the audience but it achieves its poignant and ironic ending anyway.

  • Sep 10, 2019

    A simple story with enthralling performances and action.

    A simple story with enthralling performances and action.

  • Sep 08, 2019

    It was a good movie although you had to suspend belief on some aspects. I mean when I was a cab driver my passengers used to talk to me like I was an old friend, like the time a bloke told me he'd killed thirty two people. And he was a diamond geezer.

    It was a good movie although you had to suspend belief on some aspects. I mean when I was a cab driver my passengers used to talk to me like I was an old friend, like the time a bloke told me he'd killed thirty two people. And he was a diamond geezer.

  • Aug 18, 2019

    One of the best performance of Tom cruise and Jamie foxx stunned at the last twist before climax

    One of the best performance of Tom cruise and Jamie foxx stunned at the last twist before climax