This flick has quality pedigree all around it. Tom Cruise steals the show as the smooth-talking villain you equally love and hate, while Jamie Foxx (Oscar-nominated here) as a mild-mannered everyday schmo-turned-hero more than holds his own. The film is chock full of cameos and well-known actors in excellent bit parts, such as Jada Pinkett[Smith], Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Irma P. Hall, Jason Statham (literally onscreen for 5 seconds), and a near unrecognizable Javier Bardem as a drug kingpin (awesome!). But the man who really pulls this thing together is the one who never steps in front of the camera. Mucho, mucho props go to director Michael Mann, who practically wrote the book on gritty, realistic modern crime thrillers with his masterpiece Heat.
Collateral in my opinion is no less of an achievement, as Mann deftly crafts a film that is both stylistically enthralling and emotionally engrossing- a true rarity for a Hollywood film. There are no cheap explosions or skydiving gunfights in this film, though there are plenty of gunfights, and they’re as intense as anything you’ll see out there. There’s also a grim, seedy reality to the film, as Mann exposes the shady underbelly of L.A. after dark, and for those of us familiar with the City of Angels’ sprawling (and yet oddly claustrophobic) metropolis, you’ll be in awe at how well Mann captures it all.
Stuart Beattie’s script and his creation of the Vincent character (Cruise) are also an achievement that should not go unnoticed. I’m amazed at how deplorable Cruise’s actions are in the film, and yet, I constantly find myself cheering as he guns down some of LA’s most despicable scumbags, never realizing (or perhaps simply not caring) that he is one of them. Mucho props to Cruise, Foxx and Beattie for creating characters the audience can heavily invest, making this [cab] ride one that won't soon be forgotten.
This is a classic modern man’s film if there ever was one, right up there nestled in between Gladiator and Man on Fire, and hopefully, as time rolls on, it will be recognized as the gem that it is. OK, I’m done.
City of Night: The Making of Collateral (40:59) - Like the commentary track, this is a well-explained, in depth featurette behind the story, the characters, and how they went about intricately developing both.
Special Delivery (1:09) - A quick, cool little featurette where Michael Mann discusses (and shows) how he had Tom Cruise dress up as a FedEx delivery man and deliver packages in public as practice for making himself invisible. Watch it.
Shooting on Location: Annie’s Office (2:34) - Mann explains how he chose the office location and how he approached shooting it.
Deleted Scene (1:57) - A pretty sweet, if somewhat disjointed deleted scene with commentary by Michael Mann to explain what is goin’ down.
Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx Rehearse (4:10) - A pretty cool behind the scenes peak into the Foxx and Cruise rehearsing with Mann, compared with the final scenes in the film. Cruise is a badass even in rehearsal.
Visual FX: MTA Train (2:27) - Michael Mann explains why he opted to shoot the climactic subway scene green-screen as opposed to practically. Gives great insight into how much thought and meaning the man (and all great directors) puts into every single frame of the film.
The disc also comes with a teaser trailer and theatrical trailer. Sadly lacking a Digital Copy though.
See this film.