The name Michael Mann might mean almost nothing to most people. But the name of perhaps one of his most famous creations probably will; Miami Vice. This weekends viewing has nothing to do with Miami Vice at all, but it’s from the genius who gave us that dayglow creation.
This weekend, why not settle in for one rough ride; Collateral.
Premise; Max is cab driver whose final fare for the night turns out to be much more than he bargains for. When his first job goes wrong, hitman Vincent goes with plan b; forcing Max to drive him to his four final destinations to complete his work. But Max knows that when he’s done, Vincent isn’t going to just let him go.
There are so many reasons why I initially avoided this film. If you could put all my least favorite actors in one place and call it a movie, this would have been it. I can’t stand either Jamie Foxx or Tom Cruise, for the most part. Ironically, both of them make up the first of two reasons why I think you should give this film a shot.
Both Foxx and Cruise both manage to pull off great performances, both very unFoxx and unCruise-like. Cruise plays a great fast talking, menacing hitman with a single minded purpose, without pulling the typical Cruise staples he dumps into his roles. Foxx is equally cool as the perpectually concerned looking family man just trying to do his job.
If I can hate them and enjoy them in this film, you too can give them a chance.
The second reason for this films worthiness of checking out would be Michael Mann himself. I’ve only seen three of his films (including this one, the others are Manhunter and Miami Vice, the movie), but already I love him for the style that manages to evoke.
Mann just manages to catch the spirit of the city at night, and this film is a great example of that. It’s all crisp, clean glass, and wide shots. The city and the night itself are almost a character as central to the film as Max and Vincent. Where you can recommend some films because of its lush set pieces or setting, with a Mann film, it’s almost how he presents that setting that makes it so worth watching.
You can almost feel the cold. It something else. Something far better experienced than explained.
In terms of the film itself, the pacing and plot is good. It’s a thriller at it’s heart and keeps us wondering how the hell Max is going to get himself out of the mess he’s ended up in. Take a check on this trailer to get a sense of what I’m talking about on the films various levels.
Although I almost want to save it for its own weekend viewing slot, I would recommend checking out the film version of Miami Vice if you find yourself enjoying Collateral. Having said that, Miami Vice still remains an entirely unique action film that deserves it’s own entry.
Until next time, voracious viewers.