reviews (a to z)# a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

home :: latest reviews :: reviewer profiles :: statistics :: diary :: links

Collateral (2004)

  Directed by: Michael Mann
Written by: Stuart Beattie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo
Links: Collateral on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 6.00 (2 ratings) Ranking: Ranked equal 129th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

"Not without its faults" - a review by pearly

With Collateral, Tom Cruise uses fake greying hair as an attempt to disguise the fact that he is still just an average actor (the nose worked for Nicole Kidman, right?). He plays Vincent, a visitor to the fair city of Los Angeles, who hops into a taxi driven by Max (Jamie Foxx), and offers him a modest sum of money to be his personal chaffeur for the evening. Max suspects funny business, but is persuaded by the cash, and begins driving Vincent to his "appointments".

Things go badly when, at one of these appointments, a body falls from the sky and lands on Max's car. Vincent can no longer keep secret the fact that his appointments involve him being a hit man, and "taking care" of a number of people. Max is not to try to be a hero, he's just to drive Vincent around for the evening, and that'll be that. Easy. But, of course, it's never that easy.

Collateral is a not altogether terrible thriller that is nevertheless fairly predictable, and if not predictable, a little groan-inducing when certain plot points are revealed. Supporting actor Mark Ruffalo, as cop Fanning who gets close to figuring out what's happening the earliest is under-utilised, which is annoying, and most of the other actors fail to impress.

Some of the attempts at depth were a little bothering. Why did writer Mark Ruffalo bother trying to make out that Vincent was a nice character who was just doing his job, only to blow it out of the water scenes later, when Vincent offs someone who he has just gotten to know, and with whom he has much in common? Was this to shock? It seemed kinda weird to me.

Collateral is interesting to watch for a few reasons. Firstly, it's a great opportunity to see the surrounds of Los Angeles in such a way - most films set in L.A. don't show it in the same way, with sweeping wide camera shots from helicopters and so on. And secondly, it's quite an okay thriller, if you can put aside its various faults. Not particularly high praise, I suppose, but it's the best I'm going to give it.

pearly gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 15 Nov 2004

"Collateral: or Tom Cruise Looking for a Friend." - a review by citizenjoe

Okay, let me state something up front. Tom Cruise is not Kevin Spacey, nor is he Michael Madsen, or Robert De Niro, or Joe Pesci.

So, when he is in the back of your cab brandishing a gun, I'm afraid the scene is neither very edgy or frightening. In fact, no matter how much grey in the hair, if Tom pulled out a gun with my mother in the room, rather than scream she would tell him to sit down and eat his canola without complaining.

Don't get me wrong, Collateral is a very good movie.

Tom plays a murderer, Vincent, who is in town to "clean out the trash". He has a list of people he has never met, but needs to dispose of.

Max (Jamie Foxx) is the cab driver that picks him up and has to drive him around to each "appointment". Collateral is a very fine film. Michael Mann does a terrific job maintaining a mood and a pace. However, the most interesting thing about Collateral is where its core is based.

Tom Cruise is a cold blooded killer. He is a loner. There are no relationships in his life. There is no family. There are no friends.

His need is to make contact, however fleeting. To connect and fulfil a basic human need.

The irony is that he wants to connect with other humans, even though his "business" will only thrive if he can maintain a severe distance.

The interest for me was how Mann maintains and plays with this relationship; Vincent needing it, Max being repulsed by it, then being attracted by it.

There is a lovely scene where Vincent makes Max go to the hospital to visit Max's mother.

It is a good, tight script by Australian, Stuart Beattie. Even though the ending is not as expected as you may think. It is a Hollywood ending.

I did notice the use of video rather than film. Why? I don't really know. I don't think it added anything. If it was to give it a "more real feel", then it didn't quite work for me. Michael Mann has the most beautiful ways of shooting a city. Film would have been much better and looked a lot grittier.

Anyway, back to the taxi; what would it have been like with a Michael Madsen, or even a Colin Farrell? We'll never know. All we can say is that luckily, Adam Sandler turned down the role of Max.

citizenjoe gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 1 Nov 2004

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 2
Average rating: 6.00
Lowest rating: 5 (by pearly)
Highest rating: 7 (by citizenjoe)
Rating Percentage

Reader comments

  1. ive been reading no free list for a long time but you are by far the worst reviewer ever. poor.

    A comment from Reader on Sun 07 Nov 2004 22:46 #

Add a comment

Your name:
Email address:
Make public?
Anti-Spam question:To prove you're not a horrible spam-leaving robot, please answer the following question (use numbers):
If I have 10 Best Actor Oscars and win 6 more Best Actor Oscars, how many Best Actor Oscars do I have?
Rate this movie:

You may use the <em>emphasis</em> and <strong>strong emphasis</strong> HTML tags. URLs beginning with ‘http://’ will be turned into links. Line breaks will display as entered.