COLUMN: “Collateral” is a thought-provoking crime noir film


Rob Le Cates

Drew Coffey is a sophomore television and video production major and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Drew Coffey, Columnist

For anyone who ever wanted to be a taxi driver in their life, this movie will change your mind. Well, at least, hopefully. 

The film is “Collateral” starring Jamie Foxx, Tom Cruise, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Mark Ruffalo directed by Michael Mann. 

It tells the story of a taxi driver named Max whose cab is unfortunately picked by a merciless hitman, played by Cruise, to drive him to his various targets throughout the night.

All the while, the FBI and police are hunting them down as bodies begin to be found all over downtown Los Angeles.   

To start, the acting in this film is top notch. 

Jamie Foxx, who would go on to win an academy award for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the film “Ray”, is fantastic as an everyday cab driver thrust into a life-or-death situation.  

Foxx captures the exhausting energy that would be present if your life was constantly in danger while showing a character who can think on their feet respectively.  

Tom Cruise is also menacingly terrific as Vincent, a cold and calculating hitman that has a dark outlook on how disconnected people are in the world, especially Los Angeles. 

His character offers many introspective scenes that make us question the events that led to his murderous cab ride. Cruise gives an extremely layered performance that almost leaves you wanting a stand-alone movie with just his character.  

The cinematography of the film is especially different from other blockbuster actions films.  

The film switches back and forth from being shot digitally and on film which makes the L.A. city feel dark and apparent in the story.  

The setting of the film plays a big role in helping the audience understand the world the characters inhabit and makes the events of the film feel more tangible.  

“Collateral” also utilizes close ups and handheld shots to invoke a sense of stress and tension in some scenes, mostly with Cruise’s character.  

The story moves at a constantly entertaining pace that never leaves the audience bored which is thanks to the writing.  

For every target that Cruise’s character pursues, there is a stressful aspect of the situation that continues to build towards the exciting final act.  

The film also gives very entertaining and thought-provoking dialogue between the two leads showcasing their different views on the world and life. These scenes come in between every action scene giving us a nice window before jumping into the next high-octane situation.  

What earns this film a considerable amount of respect is that it is not a flashy explosions-because-why-not action movie.  

Every scene and decision made by the characters only add to the intensity and aggressiveness of the story.  

“Collateral” is a stylish and engaging action film that focus more on character motivations rather than thoughtless, repetitive fight scenes.  

Overall rating 4/5 

Drew Coffey is a sophomore television and video production major. He can be reached at [email protected] 0r 217-581-2812.