A very well filmed thriller from Michael Mann who once again proves his mastery of Directing, with Tom Cruise being equalled for performance alongside Jamie Foxx. Cruise shows how good he is at portraying a bad guy, just as much as his good guy roles, if not better.
The film starts off low key, and continues for the majority. Despite Vincent being a cold hired killer, his demeanour and relaxed, open attitude makes you feel that he’s not that dangerous after all. At some point along the way I started wondering where this was going, I knew Cruise can play a great bad guy, but he wasn’t really playing much at all, just any other character. Then I caught some of the subtleties of the character and the way he was calming and controlling Max.
What was then interesting was where it went from there, where the story kicked off into high gear and the characters changed under the pressure of the night. There’s even a growing understanding between the characters before the final sequences.
Excellent action scenes and superb camera work with a fantastic score edited into the scenes adding another layer of tension and storytelling.
Imagine a straight line through the centre of the plot showing predictability, this story follows that path, but instead of a straight line it curves back and forth crossing it throughout but always keeping that steer. So what you find is you expect something to happen and it does, just not at the time or in the way you thought, it’s always just slightly off centre. That makes it interesting, and although there is predictability, it doesn’t detract one bit from the movie or it’s style.
Let’s face it Mann is about style and atmosphere, with a great score and some fantastic action sequences (check out the club scene), and this delivers. On top of that are the slower paced, low key scenes from the beginning which provide a great level of realism and character sympathies while setting the plot devices clearly in front of you.
Very good thriller, and superbly shot with the ever present Mann trademarks. Well worth watching.