Compiled by: Jack Foley
TOM Cruise portraying a hit-man, in a film directed by Michael
(Heat) Mann, appears to have struck a chord with US critics, who
have hailed Collateral as an unqualified success.
The film opened in America on August 6, 2004, and drew an enthusiastic
response from the journalists.
But although the film landed the number one spot - beating competition
from M Night Shyamalan's The Village
- the film made a relatively small $24.4 million (£13.2
million) during its first three days of release, which marks the
second-smallest number one debut this summer.
The figure is also one of the lowest for a Tom Cruise movie and
may suggest that audiences aren't so keen on him playing the villain.
We've seen the film, however, and Cruise rocks, as does the direction
of Michael Mann.
So, until we deliver our verdict, here's what the US had to say...
Rolling Stone gets the ball rolling by stating
that ‘Mann hits a new peak, orchestrating action, atmosphere
and bruising humour with a poet's eye for urban darkness’.
While Variety wrote that ‘this intensely
focused piece soars not only on the director's precision-tooled
style but also on the outstanding interplay between leads Tom
Cruise and Jamie Foxx’.
The New York Post declared that ‘Collateral
has such classy trappings, you're constantly expecting more -
but while there may be less here than meets the eye, this is solid
stuff in the midst of Hollywood's dog days’.
While Entertainment Weekly
declared that ‘Cruise and Foxx are so good together because
they allow the two characters to get under each other's skin.
They're buddies and enemies at the same time’.
The New Yorker opined that ‘Mann has become
a master builder of sequences, the opposite of the contemporary
action directors who produce a brutally meaningless whirl of movement’.
While the New York Times wrote: "Pitched
between interludes of anxious intimacy and equally nerve-shredding
set pieces, Michael Mann's edgy new thriller scores its points
with underhand precision."
The praise was continued by USA Today, which
referred to it as ‘a stirring two-hour footnote to [Mann's]
And by the Los Angeles Times, which felt that
‘Collateral crackles with energy and purpose, a propulsive
film with character on its mind and confident men and women on
both sides of the camera’.
Newsday even went so far as to say that ‘Mann's
film makes Tom Cruise fun to watch again, because he occasionally
plays someone besides Tom Cruise’.
And the Hollywood Reporter felt that it is ‘a
high-concept thriller with no other agenda. Nevertheless, it is
quite a ride’.
On a slightly more negative note, was Village Voice,
which declared that it is ‘a slim drink of thin beer, remarkable
only as evidence that Mann might have a modern masterpiece in
him if he were cut loose and allowed to roam around in his own
And the Hollywood Report Card warned: "A
pretty cool idea, however, two or three ‘unbelievabilities’
soured the film for me; they might not for you."
But the final few words go to the Chicago Tribune,
which described it as ‘an expertly-made thriller’;
the Dallas Morning News, which felt it is ‘a
suspenseful, jolting and even thrilling ride’; the San
Jose Mercury News, which felt that ‘Mann puts Collateral
through its paces so elegantly that even the most predictable
scenes deliver a wallop’, and, finally, by the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution, which concluded that it is ‘a
thing of lean, cool beauty, the movie's a killer showcase for
Foxx and Cruise’.