COLLATERAL -  A  Narada Film Review

    JAMIE FOX 
    as  Max
       
    JADA PINKET-SMITH
     
   TOM CRUISE 
   as Vincent.
Collateral - 2004   - Michael Mann -Director   &   Producer
    No one is quite sure why this film is called COLLATERAL.   It had nothing to do with collateral as a form of insurance for loans, so it must have been short for 'collateral damage', which was present in surfeit, to put it mildly.   The violence was for the most part, a-la Tarrantino, and only slightly less bizarre - and it unquestionably took our minds off a very predictable, very copy-cat plot.   Stuart Beatty claims to be the 'writer' here - evidence once again that plagiarism does not exist in the Hollywood lexicon.
         But that being said, COLLATERAL also took our minds off our tubs of popcorn, as we gripped the armrests in anticipation of the next bloody sub-plot twist.   Scriptwriters exceeded themselves in a splendid display of "Hollywood Hardball" dialog - the bad guys talking tough, glib and humorously at every opportunity.   The scene where Vincent (Tom Cruise) insinuates himself into the 2-way radio conversation between his taxi driver (Jamie Foxx) and the taxi dispatcher will earn someone an award or two somewhere.   We also suspect this film will instantly propel Foxx into higher Hollywood strata - we should be seeing a lot more of him in the near future.   And while we are on memorable scenes, it will take a long time to forget the shoot-out at the Fever Disco - it's intensity reminiscent of Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven gunfight.   
         COLLATERAL however, is neither a "chick flick" (although Foxx more or less ends up with the girl), nor a "buddy pic" (as many have made allusion to) - thank the heavens on both counts....    Were it a 'buddy pic', they wouldn't have ended up shooting at each other with intent to kill, but on the other hand, the story focus was on the interaction of the two (Foxx and Cruise).   And in it's own twisted way, it worked.   Well worth the price of Bangkok's overpriced theater tickets and their overpriced popcorn.
         It is, however, at this point that we consciously start to wonder why such extreme violence is appealing to such a large cross-section of humanity,   It's as in a direct equation - the more violent it is, the better we like it.   But we're not complaining, just wondering...
      Enduring Line or Phrase:  "You promise not to tell anybody, right?"

Copyright 2004,    Bangkok Eyes / bangkokeyes.com
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