Sunday, February 27, 2005

Collateral - A Fine Movie

Tonight I got around to watching the movie Collateral. I wanted to see it when it came out, but back then I wasn't going to the cinema, so it was impossible. But I finally saw it tonight and can report that it was not only as good as I thought it would be, it was even better. Michael Mann is a moviemaking wizard. (I still recall the MAGNIFICENCE of his movie Heat.) And with his movie Collateral, he did not let me down.

In the movie, Max (Jamie Foxx) is a taxi driver who has a dream of a better life for himself but doesn't seem to be capable of doing anything about it. He's treading water, and he's getting older, he keeps going like this and his life will pass him by. He will be an old man, looking back on his life and his dream that he did nothing about.

It doesn't matter if a man is going through his life, not taking any chances, dreaming but doing nothing about it, because sometimes life throws something big in his path, something he can't go round - it is going to FORCE him to get out of his sleepwalking, routine life and it will change him dramatically and FOREVER. It is like this: If you were to go outside and find a tiny ant on the ground, and pick it up and then walk ten blocks with it, and put it back down again, what you have done is take this little ant away from his world, and an ant cannot be an individual, an ant by its nature is part of a group, the same way a soldier in the army is. You take the soldier out of the army and he is no longer a soldier. So let's try to imagine what you would be doing to this ant by removing him from his regular life and community, and putting him down on the ground ten blocks away, which for a human would be akin to taking that human, picking him up and putting him back down again on the opposite side of the world, let's say Iceland. And the human would have to have amnesia, to make it closer to the ant's situation.

Anyway, this is only to give an example of the situation Max is put in after he picks up Vincent (Tom Cruise), who he figures is just another fare, another Johnny, he's gonna take from one place to another, but when he gets to the destination, Vincent offers him $700 if he will drive him around all night to six different locations, to see some friends. Max usually makes around $300 for a night shift so this offer, see, he can't refuse it. While he's waiting in his taxi a body flies out of a building and lands on his cab. Vincent arrives a minute later and Max soon realises that Vincent killed the guy. Vincent is a professional hitman. Max now has to drive Vincent around to five other places to kill five other people, and if he refuses, Vincent will kill him and find somebody else. What happens next? Can you stand it?

This was a great movie. The acting was good, the dialogue was never phony, it looked great, the music was good and never sucked, I was on the edge of my damn seat the whole way through and even watched a few scenes again and again, it didn't go on for too long, and there was an excellent nightclub scene where everybody was wearing cowboy hats.

Is it possible to make a movie about a taxi driver and it not be good? No sir, I don't think so.

Collateral is a fine movie you should watch if you have not seen it.

No comments: