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Collateral – Cruise ain’t no Camus

Cruise in reflective mood

Collateral – Michael Mann

Michael Mann (Heat, The Insider) can’t make a bad movie: but with Collateral he spoils a good one. His claustrophobic, intense style is there but he’s ‘blockbustered’ it with a pounding rock score which underlines most dramatic moments into oblivion. After the absorbing, atmospheric opening it’s a hack job.

Neat plot and strong action sequences can’t conceal Cruise’s miscasting; though newish face Jamie Foxx is good even if his orthodontal work gleams a bit in the darkness of his cab. Performances and sharp script are ill-served by a soundtrack so ‘real’ at times you miss the dialogue. (See it in a good cinema to overcome this) The existential claptrap that tries to open out the characters just clunks. Entertaining, worth a look, but for a director of Mann’s ability – a hit disappointing. Surprisingly, The Bourne Supremacy is the better of these two current thrillers on offer.

(September 2004)

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