Collateral

This is director Michael Mann’s best film since Heat. Mann, the force behind Miami Vice and creator of astoundingly good-looking movies, has sometimes been accused of being a surface director, someone who puts all of the emphasis on the visuals but shies away from the deeper emotional aspects of his characters. That’s crap. Mann is such a good director that his visuals tell deeper stories than most directors’ dialogue heavy scenes. Tom Cruise plays Vincent, a hired killer with grey hair and a snazzy suit, forcing a cabbie (Jamie Foxx) to take him on a tour of death. Vincent is easily the ugliest character Cruise has ever allowed himself to play, and he has created a memorable bastard. He immerses himself in hatred, a character that has endured a life of hardship to become soulless, a walking callous in a sharp suit. He played a soulless pool hustler, also named Vincent, in Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money. Perhaps his character here is Paul Newman’s protégé all grown up, having visited every pool hall and scammed every player. Now he just shoots people. Impeccably directed and acted, it’s a nice addition to the Michael Mann universe.

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