Tom Cruise gets his best movie added to Netflix
By Nathan Kamal | Published
Tom Cruise works harder than you would expect of any 60-year-old actor. Cruise has been a leading man since before much of his fan base was born and has weathered the many changes in Hollywood he’s had to see over the decades. While currently at another career peak with the incredible box office receipts and critical acclaim of Top Gun: Maverick, the best movie Tom Cruise has ever made is just coming to Netflix. This movie is from 2004 Collateral, Michael Mann’s neo-noir that pitted Cruise as a casually murderous assassin against Jamie Foxx’s moderately ambitious taxi driver. While it may not be one of Tom Cruise’s most well-known films, it pulls more from him than almost any other film and hopefully will gain a wider audience on Netflix when it does. will arrive on September 1.
Collateral stars Tom Cruise as Vincent, a gray-haired, gray-suited hitman with an extreme sense of professionalism and an appreciation for jazz. The film opens with Cruise arriving at LAX airport in Los Angeles, just another anonymous man among thousands of busy businessmen trying to catch flights, close deals and continue their business. life. Then he bumps into Jason Statham, they casually exchange bags with a few obviously contrived lines of conversation, and things go awry. While Jason Statham’s character doesn’t reappear, the director of his then-explosive Transporter franchise has said he considers himself playing the same Frank Martin character in Collateralwhich is a cute little Easter egg.
As Tom Cruise slowly makes his way to Los Angeles via Netflix for still unknown but clearly sinister reasons, we meet Jamie Foxx as taxi driver Max Durocher. In Michael Mann’s extremely direct and immediate directorial style, Jamie Foxx is seen to be obsessively orderly, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Los Angeles grid, and can charm a lawyer played by Jada Pinkett-Smith if you let him. catch at the right time. Then Tom Cruise leans out of his cabin window to see if he’s available.
In one of the film’s best touches, Jamie Foxx is so giddy when he hooks up with Jada Pinkett-Smith that he doesn’t even notice Tom Cruise at first. Without even a flicker of irritation, Tom Cruise starts walking towards the next cab, but that’s not what happens in this particular movie coming to Netflix. Instead, Jamie Foxx waves her apology, turning the whole movie into a “what if?” script. After timing Jamie Foxx’s performance, Tom Cruise offers to pay him $700 to be his personal driver for the night, making exactly five stops. Against his better judgment (and taxi regulations, which he feels are more important), Jamie Foxx agrees and his whole world explodes.
Each of the five stops is a deadly mission for Tom Cruise. Along the way, the mismatched pair are drawn into an increasingly tense conversation and emerge as ideological opposites. Jamie Foxx is all about routine, predictability and following the rules. From the other side of the glass partition of his cabin, Tom Cruise talks about improvising, adapting and changing plans as many times as necessary to achieve his goal. They also become oddly close emotionally, with Tom Cruise insisting they visit Foxx’s ailing mother in the hospital and Foxx, against all odds, managing to uncover raw nerves under the skin of the icy charming Vincent.
The key for Collateral isn’t just that Tom Cruise is one of our great action stars (and that Michael Mann is one of the great action directors). It’s that instead of playing Vincent as dark and quiet (as Jason Statham might) or inhumanly unstoppable or unhinged, Tom Cruise portrays the killer as oddly affable and charming. It becomes clear that this is just one of many tools in his arsenal, but linking Tom Cruise’s sometimes frightening charisma to a killer who can clearly turn him on and off at will is inspired casting. It’s also possibly the only film in which Tom Cruise plays an outright villain; even when Cruise plays a literal Nazi in other films, he still manages to be a good guy.
Jamie Foxx plays Max as well, as uncontrolled when he’s out of his element as Vincent constantly adapts; initially the role was for Adam Sandler, who pulled out due to scheduling issues. While Jamie Foxx plays it well, it’s hard not to imagine this pairing of Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler as something of a standout.
Collateral was a minor hit for Tom Cruise, grossing $220 million at the box office. Of course, a minor hit for Tom Cruise is a huge blockbuster for anyone else, with the film becoming Michael Mann’s highest-grossing film. It received mixed reviews upon release (due in part to Michael Mann’s use of then-state-of-the-art digital cameras), but it went on to become one of the best films of the early 2000s. and one of the high points of Tom Cruise’s career as an actor. Starting September 1, you can decide for yourself when this Tom Cruise movie hits Netflix.