Collateral (2004) – 4K Review

Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx headline the fantastic Michael Mann film, Collateral that gets its 4K release from Paramount Pictures this week. A crisp thriller that was shot in high definition to begin with, looks nothing short of stunning in your home theatre.

Cruise, playing against type, is the villain of the piece, a hitman in Los Angeles (a gorgeous character in and of itself in this film) for one night, to take care of some business, while Foxx plays Max, the taxi driver who mistakenly agrees to pick him up.

From their first meeting we are given a tense, taut thriller that lets both actors stretch and carry their roles with ease. And they are surrounded by actors who bring their A-game, Mann as a director accepts nothing less, including Mark Ruffalo, Jada Pinkett Smith, Bruce McGill, Peter Berg, and Javier Bardem.

The story moves brilliantly fast, and there is an authenticity to Mann’s shooting style that brings this one night in both men’s lives to life in an immediate way. The gorgeous backdrop of Los Angeles is both stunning and gritty, as the story takes us through various corners of the city that we may not recognise or know, as we join Max and Vincent on this life-changing night.

From it’s opening to its close, this film captivates the same way it did when it first came out in 2004, and to see it now, this sharp, and present, – it’s a ride! It’s hard for me to pick my favourite Micheal Mann film, the man is a master of cinema, but Collateral has got to be somewhere near the top.

The 4K disc comes with the blu-ray as well, which is loaded with all the original extras (including a fun making of doc) with only the trailer and the director’s commentary being imported to the 4k disc. I loved watching this one again, I just lost myself in the gorgeous picture of the cityscape, the performances, the tight editing, lighting… man, Michael Mann is a fantastic director.

And it’s great to see Cruise doing something other than being the all-American hero that the Mission: Impossible films have turned him into (don’t get me wrong, I love those films, and eagerly anticipate each instalment). It’s a film like this that lets you enjoy the performances, the minutiae of filmmaking and everything that goes into making a movie a classic, and Collateral is very much that.

This one is going to be a must for film fans, especially on this 4K version, and honestly, having watched this one, I just get fired to watch it again, and revisit the rest of Mann’s films as well. Now, Paramount, how about a copy of The Keep?

Collateral is available today from Paramount Canada!

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