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02/26/2005 Archived Entry: "Collateral"
Posted by Loren @ 02:36 AM PST

---WARNING: Minor spoilers---

Loved it. Not nearly as much as Heat, but then that's a hard movie to beat (DeNiro vs. Pacino with an incredible supporting cast). It wasn't just the action in Collateral which had me on the edge of my seat, but also some of the dialogue. When Jamie Foxx starts questioning Tom Cruise's total lack of compassion -- "The standard parts that are supposed to be there in people, in you... aren't." -- it's a great signal in the shift in their relationship.

The only time the dialogue really wore on me was when Tom Cruise gives that speech about the very very trite notion that we're all specks on this planet -- what does life matter, blah blah blah. Part of it must be the fact it's Tom Cruise and my inherent dislike for all the characters he plays (almost all of them have a loud brashness about them). Part of it is the fact that it feels more like a soliloquy than a dialogue. But mostly it's the fact that it's basically tired old teenage angst with no new perspective.

The whole atmosphere of the movie was carefully crafted also. That a good chunk of the movie happens in the taxicab at night with shadows passing gives it an incredibly dream-like feel.

And yes, I still hate Tom Cruise. Jamie Foxx though -- first two movies I've seen him in are Ray and Collateral and he's kicking some serious butt. He swaggers in Ray, he stutters in Collateral. When he first discovers what kind of ride he's picked up (the first time Vincent makes a stop), his acting is incredible.

Great rapport between Jamie Foxx and Jada in the opening conversation. After that exchange, I almost wished that I had rented a romantic drama/comedy instead of an action drama. I had hoped that that would just be great introduction color and left at that rather than having to tie this all back in in one neat package but oh well.

Incidentally, IMDB reports that other actors considered for Vincent were: Russell Crowe, Ed Norton, Colin Farrell. Vincent requires a sophistication and "sleekness" that I don't think Crowd would bring. Farrell likewise doesn't seem methodical enough to be a great Vincent. But Norton... damn, he would have made a fine Vincent. I'd venture to say, even better than Cruise. Norton can play characters that are earnest and heartfelt one moment (25th Hour) and utterly crazy the next (Primal Fear, American X). And others considered for Max, Jamie Foxx's role? Adam Sandler. Must say, he would have been a fine Max. Reminds me that I still need to catch Punch-Drunk Love. -- loren

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