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Seagal Mention In Collateral!

#1
By David Elliott
UNION-TRIBUNE MOVIE CRITIC
August 5, 2004

"Collateral" goes wrong, first, by disposing of its best scene at the start. It's when cabbie Max (Jamie Foxx) gives a ride to lawyer Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith), and they trade swift, fetching lines that dangle something good to come.


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MOVIE REVIEW

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"Collateral"

Rated R

Opens tomorrow



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But nothing else very good arrives in Michael Mann's inane thriller, a sort of dud-brained "Taxi Driver" on the slick streets of Los Angeles rather than the steaming streets of New York. After Annie exits the cab, in comes Vincent (Tom Cruise), a hitman who takes over, using the astonished Max not only as wheelman but captive patsy of a nightlong murder spree.

Mann and writer Stuart Beattie favor edgy impulses, despite the hit list so primly scheduled in Vincent's laptop. He's a death smoothie, beautifully tailored, with hair so gray it's almost Gere. Along with his appointed rounds there's time for crazy improv, like street thugs who see Max trapped in the cab in an alley, decide to rob him and then, of course, pay the piper.

Mann loves night vistas of L.A., mapping them with lush noir panoramas and dreamy helicopter shots looking straight down. And he likes rude jolts. So a big, heavy victim lands on the cab from four stories up, surely enough to wreck it, but a few dents and a cracked window don't leave much visual marking until, inevitably, the cab is totalled.

Doing an even chillier variant on his L.A. crime drama "Heat," Mann still favors razor-cut architecture and glowing spans of glass that explode beautifully under gunfire. For a director so in love with glassy urban lines ("Manhunter," "Thief," "The Insider," the "Miami Vice" show), it is ironic that his best work makes such elements marginal ("Ali") or impossible ("The Last of the Mohicans").

Disparaging L.A. as if he has come from another planet, Cruise's Vincent is so clipped that his dialogue and bullets seem to emerge from the same barrel. Playing a mannequin blend of an android and Lee Marvin's Walker in "Point Blank," he talks about the I Ching and "cosmic coincidence," poses as a nihilist, saves Max only so that he can tease and torment him some more (if this is bonding, then there is hope for Bush-Kerry matrimony).

All is sauced in vapid "style" and brazen implausibility. We get time for some cool jazz and memories of Miles Davis before an old bopper (well-acted by Barry Shabaka Henley) is murdered. People in a crowded club don't react to scary men with drawn guns moving among them, until Mann triggers panic with a shootout that badly needs Steven Seagal. As some sort of insane test, Vincent orders the almost clueless Max to impersonate him, enter a den of vicious thugs and rework the hit contract.

Wasted marginally are such talents as Javier Bardem, Mark Ruffalo and Bruce McGill, and after her smart start Pinkett Smith is reduced to action bait.

The ace that stays in play is Foxx, whose role as a decent, rather dreamy guy with a pushy mom (Irma P. Hall) is as credible as the dopey script allows (and next comes the comic's big test as an actor, as Ray Charles in "Ray").

On a Web credit list, "Collateral" has 10 producers and 65 stunt people. What it nakedly lacks is a single writer who could have given this glitzy hash of cliches something real and motivational to carry an arc of story. The only arc here is that of a bullet fired wildly into the night.





A Paramount/DreamWorks release. Director: Michael Mann. Writer: Stuart Beattie. Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tom Cruise, Jada Pinkett Smith, Javier Bardem, Bruce McGill, Mark Ruffalo. Running time: 1 hr., 53 min.
 

yudansha

TheGreatOne
#2
Tom Cruise is top notch again in that one...

Thanks for the article, LittleD. This is a good thing. Steven Seagal is wanted on the big screen! ... we'll see how Into The Sun goes and if those same people will still want SS in theatres... (I hope that it's not the ODG repeat...)
 
#3
I don't know how many of you read this but this is a great honor for Seagal, it really shows you how much of an impact Seagal has made on action films.
 
#4
great news!
on a similar note, Seagal's name was mentioned in the film In and Out with Kevin Kline - that he was nominated for an Oscar for a film called "Snowball In Hell" ... as part of the film's story.
 
#5
kickingbird said:
great news!
on a similar note, Seagal's name was mentioned in the film In and Out with Kevin Kline - that he was nominated for an Oscar for a film called "Snowball In Hell" ... as part of the film's story.
That was an insult....
 
#6
Collateral was excellent, i am sure it will become one of my favorites

The reason it wasnt as succesful was because it was so different for Cruise. Everyone is used to him as the hero, AND being in family friendly movies (Top Gun, Minority Report, Mission Impossible) This is his first R Rated thriller, and it was a great film. If you havent seen it yet, I really suggest it, it is really fun. I was thinking of Seagal during that Korean night club scene, so that was kind of funny the critic mentioned it.
 
#8
Dont care about Tom Cruise's latest movie dont like the guy to cocky for my liking..These so called people that pick who shoud be nominated should get there heads out of there butt's and do there jobs right because i think he should have recieved nominations for a few movies that are just as good no better then others that have nominated and got oscars ...I know i read somewhere he didnt really care if he got any or not..But come on it would be nice maybe they should chose me i would give him what he wants and it would be fitting.........Yeah i might be rambling on again
so what if you read it properly you can see what i mean.........
 

TDWoj

Administrator
Staff member
#9
Reservoir Dog said:
The reason it wasnt as succesful was because it was so different for Cruise. Everyone is used to him as the hero, AND being in family friendly movies (Top Gun, Minority Report, Mission Impossible) This is his first R Rated thriller, and it was a great film. If you havent seen it yet, I really suggest it, it is really fun. I was thinking of Seagal during that Korean night club scene, so that was kind of funny the critic mentioned it.
But it's not his first time playing a bad guy - he was the vampire Lestat in Interview with a Vampire, which, though I loathe Ann Rice's books (besides which she takes herself 'way too seriously as a cult-inspiring figure - a black lace wedding dress? come on!), was a pretty good film - I could even tolerate Brad Pitt in this movie, and that's saying something.
 
#10
Looking forward to seeing this movie when it drops here in the UK!
Risky Buisiness,one of his first big screen featues,is still my fave Cruise movie thus far.
 
#11
TDWoj said:
But it's not his first time playing a bad guy - he was the vampire Lestat in Interview with a Vampire, which, though I loathe Ann Rice's books (besides which she takes herself 'way too seriously as a cult-inspiring figure - a black lace wedding dress? come on!), was a pretty good film - I could even tolerate Brad Pitt in this movie, and that's saying something.
That movie wasnt as high profile though, and didnt have nowhere near the budget.