Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Holiday watching: Collateral

Date: 28 Dec 2004

Juri wrote:

"I saw last night Michael Mann's "Collateral". . . .Tom Cruise is brilliant as the assassin. How could I hate this guy in the eighties and early nineties?"

I think its just that hatred that makes Cruise so good in this. All of those traits that make him so obnoxious when playing a hero, especially the arrogance, work for him when he plays a bad guy -- you're supposed to dislike the character for exactly the same reasons you normally hate the actor's public persona. I got much the same vibe off Richard Gere, think he's a brilliant bad guy (especially in Internal Affairs), but can't watch him when he's supposed to be sympathetic.

Glenn wrote:

"I watched Collateral over the weekend as well. . . . I can say that I agree, for the most part, with your take. It is bleak, relentless and pessimistic. But only to a point. I never really felt like Jamie Foxx was in any danger. And when I watched the movie I thought of it as more of a thriller than a noir film."

I'd agree with you there, both that Foxx was never in real danger and that it's more thriller than noir, not that the two are entirely mutually exclusive.


"Over all I really liked the movie. Both Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise were excellent. I was, however, somewhat bothered by the ending. I just don't think that it would have happened that way."

Wait a minute, are you saying you don't believe that a professional hit man who earlier hit every target he aimed at in a panicked mob in a dance club would miss numerous shots at near point blank range between subway cars? How could you have a problem with that? Cruise is a consummate professional most of the time, but conveniently loses his skills when needed for the plot.

Collateral struck me as one of those movies that is very easy to pick apart afterwards (for instance, why would this guy who is careful never to be seen by anyone he doesn't intend to kill, possibly visit with Foxx's mother?), but has so much style, speed and momentum that you don't even think of those many problems during the film.

By the way, my Christmas noir viewing was Bad(der) Santa -- that dude is truly screwed and circling the drain.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 28 Dec 2004 EST