Wednesday, September 9, 2009

COLLATERAL

col·lat·er·al Pronunciation: \kə-ˈla-t(ə-)rəl\
1 a : accompanying as secondary or subordinate
b : serving to support or reinforce

Have any of you seen the movie Collateral? If you haven't DO. I am NOT a Tom Cruise Fan but his performance in this piece is not only unusual for him, and extremely good. The plot in a nutshell? A cab driver finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer: Cruise as "Vincent" as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in LA. I almost didn't recognize Cruise at first. He was perfect as a stone-cold killer, donning a sub-zero amoral nihilism as well as a suit with threads the color of the coyotes that roamed the LA streets that night. He throws out half rendered references to the I Ching and Darwin that reminded me a bit of Jules in Pulp Fiction. Jamie Fox, also in a role that surprised me with his depth, plays the cab driver forced to drive Vincent to his five hits, the body of the first mark ending up hitting the roof of his cab, giving his fare's profession away.

The interplay between two interesting characters is awesome, enough to make you overlook the plot holes that got a little larger as the film goes on, until finally the screenwriters just threw up their hands and started the action. By then I was not going to hit pause for anything. Cruise handled his guns like he had one in his hand his whole life, and the scene in which the two thugs steals his briefcase is one you won't forget. The speed reloads and Mozambique Drills are icing on the cake.

The main point I took from the film was not the action, and not the plot. It was a film that followed how people connect and react until the most adverse of circumstances. There's something in even the meek that comes out when someone threatens what they value.


I bet in the future, the cab driver in the film will carry a back up piece. I certainly do.

- Brigid