It’s been a great day, with some Collateral

Looking back on the day, it’s been a really good one. I didn’t spend quite as much time with the kids as I could have, but they’re going to get a lot of me next week at the reunion. I DID spend lots of time cartooning, and managed to crank the buffer from 14 to 21. And most of that was on scripts I wrote last night.

I took a break midday to see Collateral. I’ve got to take issue with this review on two points. Here’s the first one:

But instead of renting his own wheels, or getting some goon from the syndicate to drive him around, he randomly hires a cab driver, Max (played by Foxx), to chauffeur him through the dark, slick streets of L.A.

I just couldn’t buy that. It feels like false jeopardy, feeding fake dramatic tension. Why would a professional hit man — no matter how psychotic — take an eyewitness along on a murder spree?

I can see that complaint. I expected to have the same one. And then, early in the movie, a detective who is investigating the first killing learns that a cab was spotted in the alley. He remembers a series of killings one night in Oakland when a cab driver supposedly went crazy, killed three people, and then took his own life. He also remembers that the detective on that particular case never bought into the suicide story.

So you see… no plot-hole. Our contract killer, played by Tom Cruise, plans to pin the killings on Max. Granted, it’s not an airtight cover, but if Max plays along it’ll hold long enough for the REAL killer to cover the rest of his tracks.

The other complaint the reviewer had was the pace of the movie. I’ll say this much: I don’t want to see it AGAIN, because there WAS a lot of “sitting and talking” and “establishing mood.” This is NOT an action movie. Sure, there’s action in it, but it’s really more of a moody, dramatic thriller, and the pacing is required for that mood.

And this is coming from a guy (me) who likes his movies paced a LOT faster. If you’ve been thinking about seeing Collateral, don’t let the CNN reviewer put you off.

So now it sounds like the movie was my whole day. Nope. It’s just the part that’s most fun to discuss.