IT STARTED LIKE ANY OTHER NIGHT.
Los Angeles cab driver Max Durocher (Jamie Foxx) takes a passenger (Tom Cruise) who turns out to be a hit man with a contract on five people; he needs Max to drive him to their locations. Much like the director’s previous thriller Heat (1995), this one also has an urban setting, cars gliding through the night, a pulsing soundtrack, powerful action scenes and characters who take time off from the violence to ponder their future. The last third of the film is conventional but exciting; the other two thirds give Foxx and Cruise plenty of time to work on their uneasy relationship. Not much depth, but the atmosphere is almost spellbinding.
2004-U.S. 120 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Michael Mann, Julie Richardson. Directed by Michael Mann. Screenplay: Stuart Bettie. Cinematography: Dion Beebe, Paul Cameron. Cast: Tom Cruise (Vincent), Jamie Foxx (Max Durocher), Jada Pinkett Smith (Annie Farrell), Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Bruce McGill… Javier Bardem, Jason Statham.
Trivia: Adam Sandler was allegedly considered for the part of Max.
BAFTA: Best Cinematography.
Last word: “LA’s the most exciting city visually, in terms of locations for motion pictures. It can be so gorgeous and beautiful that it becomes distracting. And that was not what I wanted. There’s an inherent poignancy, I believe, in certain visuals in Los Angeles when they’ve got a patina of corrosion. Now they’re just elegant manicures, so there’s no Bel Air, or Beverly Hills. We glimpse the Geary building at the beginning in daylight, that’s it. There’s none of the elegant environments in LA. I wasn’t interested in that. I was interested in places that are used, that are dirty and dusty.” (Mann, Film 4)