Just like any other night,  you begin to go through  your routine, step by step,  the same old hum-drum  life. Another day another  dollar life style is what you  are used to, but on this  night, for no real reason,  one decision, one final  choice changes everything  and sends you spiraling  down into a world where  nothing you know is true  anymore and the only way  out, is to become someone  you never thought you  could be. That is what  happened to Max when he  decided to pick up Vincent  in his cab.

Collateral is an edge of  your seat action suspense  movie that pulls you into a  dark, night time world  where harsh and terrible  actions are countered with  polite, philosophical  conversation. In it  we look at the lives of two men, one a skilled, calculating hit man who looks at his life with a cold logic that allows him to freely go about his bloody life without any question of conscience. The other, a simple man with far-reaching dreams mired in a poor 9 to 5 life. And one cab ride brings them together in a dangerous nerve biting story of death, life risking decisions, and revelations of two men’s true character.

Collateral came out in 2004 and managed a modest 24 million opening weekend and managed close to 218 million in world-wide gross. It starred Tom Cruise, of Knight and Day and Valkyrie, as Vincent; a gun for hire who has come into town two complete a list of hits for his client. Unaware of his alterior motives at first, Jamie Foxx, best known for his work in The Soloist and Ray, plays Max; a simple cabbie working the night shift, agrees to be Vincent’s ride for the night, but after a body drops on his cab at the first stop the illusion is destroyed and he is pulled along at gun point to complete Vincent’s work.

As they go about Vincent’s business the two men talk about why Vincent feels his work is justifiable and why Max has never gone further in his life. Max tries to talk Vincent into seeing the wrongness of his life while Vincent shows Max just how weak he is letting himself be. As the two go from one hit to another Max becomes more and more of the man that he could be, if only to survive to see the morning. The problem is, as Max learns more and more about what Vincent is doing in town and why, he realizes that one of the names on his list is the woman he just met earlier in the night. Annie , played by Jada Pinkett Smith, is a prosecutor who is unaware that her case is going to get her killed and that the only person who can save her is the cabbie she flirted with on her way to the office.

The city streets along with the wonderful score, supplied  by Destino De Abril, provide the perfect back drop for this wonderfully unwinding story of violence draped in civility. This movie demonstrates Tom Cruise’s ability to assume varied character styles as well reveals the true acting ability of Jamie Foxx. Truthfully before this movie I had no respect for Jamie Foxx, as this movie came out before Ray, but this film really allowed him to showcase his versatility and ability to really make you feel for a character, because as cool as the character of Vincent is, it is Max’s story and it is his journey that really makes you love this movie.

So, if you are looking for a movie that draws you not only into the lives of the character portrayed, but the world they are living and dying in, then Collateral is the movie you should take a look at, and that is how I see it.

If you like this, you might enjoy:

Man on Fire

La Femme Nikita

Law Abiding Citizen

© David Carl Dobbs and How Dobbs Sees it, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Carl Dobbs and How Dobbs Sees it with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.