Movie Review: Collateral (2004)

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Don’t we all just love thrillers? No? Then what kind of person are you if you don’t like thrillers. They usually are suspenseful and just create some really interesting scenarios. And right now I am mainly focusing on crime thrillers. Not like…action-thriller even though a lot of crime thrillers have action in them. And today we are taking a look at one such movie. A movie that a lot of people seem to like. I mean, it has to be liked since it got two Oscar nominations.

Ladies and gentlemen, from the Director of the excellent movie “Heat”…”Collateral”.

This movie follows a cab driver named Max (Jamie Foxx). He has a dream to one day make enough money to start up a luxurious limousine company. And he believes he can achieve this dream since he basically is the best at this job. Even though the traffic of L.A can be a bitch. One night he meets prosecutor Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith). They make a little bet. The bet is that if Max can get her to her destination faster than her originally intended way…that’s it really. But if he’d lose, the cab fare would be free. And he wins…so she appararently gives him her number. Oh, and they had some generally good conversation in the car about the fastest ways around. After he had dropped her off, a business man named Vincent (Tom Cruise) enters the cab and offers Max 600 dollars cash to take him to five different destiantions and wait for him at each. Max agrees to it. What he doesn’t know though is that the “business” Vincent is up to is assassinating some people. When Max finds out about this, Vincent pretty much threatens his life. So their journey of getting these people killed starts. There is also an LAPD cop named Fanning (Mark Ruffalo) getting clues about these murders…without all the details of course. And he is on the pursuit after the killer (A.K.A Vincent). Now the story is something that I adore about this movie! It is not only well written, it’s also incredibly suspenseful. The way all characters interact with each other is just so great. Especially the little relationship between Max and Vincent. They are not just like “Killer and Victim”, they manage to find some kind of respect for one another. This story is airtight. It never gets boring, not at any time…something is always going on! I love it!

The characters are fucking sweet. They have a good amount of layers to them. Most of this comes from the fantastic performances in this movie. I especially love the character of Vincent. Tom Cruise delivers a cold, calculating and develops fantastically through the movie. He is not just this “Do as I say or I’ll fucking kill you!”. He is one of the most complex killers and honestly characters in general in recent media. And most of that is coming from the cold and amazing performance of Tom Cruise. This is probably the best I’ve ever seen from him. Jamie Foxx as Max was also incredibly good…hell, he was Oscar nominated for it. So yeah, great characters.

The soundtrack…oh my god, the soundtrack. It is so damn good. There are a few original tracks, that are incredibly good I have to say. But for the most part the soundtrack is licensed songs, but that is not necessarily a bad thing as long as the songs are good. And here in “Collateral” they are great. They all fit the settings in this movie like downtown L.A, slums, night clubs etc. I really like this soundtrack.

This movie looks like it was filmed in a handheld way. And by that I mean it looks like someone actually held the camera instead of using one of those pole…things. Usually that is not the best idea. But here in “Collateral” it looks fantastic. It really works for everything that this movie is and wants to be. It just fits.

Reception for “Collateral” was overall good. Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie an 86% rating and have given it the “Fresh” ceritfication. Metacritic gave this movie a 71/100 rating. The lovely Roger Ebert gave this a 3,5/4 star rating. Here comes something he said:

This is a rare thriller that’s as much character study as sound and fury.”

Sure, that doesn’t summarize his thoughts all too well, but it works. imdb.com gave this movie the lovely score of 7,6/10.

I have said some things about this movie. And now I will give it my score. “Collateral” gets a 9,6/10. It is a buy and gets the “Seal of Approval”
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This has been my review of “Collateral”.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find a cab and attend to some…”business” matters.

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