Max (Fox) has a temporary job as taxi driver. His dream is to set up a limousine service but that needs a lot of money which results in him driving cabs already for 12 years. One night, he drives a customer, Annie, from the airport to the center of LA. They start talking and Max learns that she’s a procecuter who’s working on a very big case. When they arrive at their destination, Max and Annie have had a very nice chat and she gives him her card. You never know if he could use it sometime. While still thinking about Annie, Max’s next customer already arrives. Vincent (Tom Cruise) looks like a really decent guy in a suit and he asks Max to be his driver for the rest of the evening. In exchange, Vincent will give him a higher than normal pay. Max hesitates as he will have to drive Vincent to several customers in one night but after some discussion he agrees.
When they arrive at the first place, Max is ordered to stay in his cab until Vincent returns but while he’s eating a sandwich, a dead man suddenly falls on his vehicle. When little later Vincent returns, it becomes clear to Max that Vincent is a hitman and that he’s working down a list of victims. Max tries to escape but this results in Vincent killing innocent people. Therefore, Max has no choice than to follow Vincent’s orders and try to stay alive. As time passes, the police start finding out that a hitman is killing several people who are all connected to a big drug case and are determined to stop him. Meanwhile, Max is doing what he can to stop Vincent from finishing his list but when the cops think it is Max who is doing the killing, things get even more complicated than they already are…
Sound and Vision:
The image quality is very nice and looks stylised to create additional atmosphere. Compression errors are no problem due to the high bitrate and the only minor downpoint we could find is some grain that’s present in the darker scenes.
The soundtrack is very atmospheric and although it doesn’t use the surround channels a lot, they do get a piece from the action in certain scenes and at those moments, they really shine in split-surround. The subwoofer nicely supports the whole.
The 1-disc version only contains an audio commentary track by Michael Mann.
Michael Mann is known from hectic action movies but with Collateral he shows us he’s capable of other stuff aswell. When watching this film, you get the impression you’re looking at two movies at the same time. On one hand there are the hits Vincent makes and here’s where all the action takes part, while on the other hand the rides between the different hits which let us get to know the characters better. This creates a very strange atmosphere aswell as a good portion of tension. Unfortunately, the ending does let down a bit.
All in all, Collateral is one of the better movies that have been released on dvd lately so if you’ve got nothing better to do I would definitely suggest checking it out.