By William Wolf

COLLATERAL  Send This Review to a Friend

Tom Cruise plays a super-cool hit man in director Michael Mann’s new action flick, and Jamie Foxx is a cab driver who happens to get ensnared in the killer’s Los Angeles night of whacking an assortment of characters he has been assigned to eliminate. The film, written by Stuart Beattie, is as cool as its hero-villain, but also full of energy derived from the sleek editing job, the score and the marauding trip through the L.A. scene with its mixed ethnicity.

There is also the interaction between Vincent (Cruise) and Max (Foxx), including a nifty turning-point moment when Max, reluctantly and fearfully going along as Vincent’s captive driver, suddenly gets into the spirit of the occasion.

Count on the requisite violence and confrontations, plus a dash of suspense as Max tries to rescue Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith), a potential victim trapped in an office high-rise with Vincent closing in. “Collateral” is best when sticking to the action, but the efforts to build philosophy about the contrasting lives between assassin and cab driver becomes bloated and detracts from the main business of action and suspense.

“Collateral” isn’t a must-see, but it succeeds in providing diverting action and the performances by Cruise and Foxx work neatly in tandem. Mann has also made a film that looks particularly good on a big screen, as was the case when I caught it at Loews Lincoln Square in New York. A DreamWorks Pictures release.


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