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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Driving This Crazy

Collateral (2004) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Max Durocher (Jamie Foxx) drives “the cleanest cab in La-La Land.” He's a black man who never was good at making friends—read no gang affiliations—and he doesn't care for jazz either—read no hipster clubbing. His mother considered him unhealthy for talking to him­self in the mirror. He's been driving a taxi for twelve years, in which he stares at a picture of a tropical isle (Maldives, Indian Ocean?) a dozen times a day imagining a peaceful moment. He drives at night when business is more laid back. He dreams of starting the Island Limos Co. making his rides so copacetic that his fares are sorry to have the ride end. In his mind the taxi is that limo.

His high end limo would necessarily be like other high end resorts, cruise ships, etc. As C.J. Box writes of one, “the credo of the Silver Creek Ranch was to accom­modate each and every guest no matter how out­lan­dish their request” (69.)

This night he overhears a nattily dressed lady on her cell saying, “I'm pulling an all-nighter, too.” He drives U.S. Justice Dept. investigative attorney Annie Farrell (Jada Pinkett Smith) to the U.S. Federal Annex on Spring St. where she is going to rewrite her grand jury testimony for her “big case” in the morning. It's her routine. He gets her there post haste taking the opened up Harbor Freeway over her protests that surface streets would be quicker—they're not. And sure enough, she wishes they could visit longer, and she gives him her card.

His next fare coming out of the same building is debonair Vincent (Tom Cruise) who has just completed a dry run through the monstrous building's security. He's been hired by an international narco cartel with limitless funds to stop an indictment planned for the morning. He is so taken by Max's service that he hires the cab for the night, in which he has five stops to make to supposedly gather signatures to complete a real estate deal. The only real estate deal these guys are going to get, how­ever, is the trunk of the cab or the morgue at Sisters of Charity Hospital.

When the cat's let out of the bag, Max finds himself driving a route where when the jig arrives, the gig is up for some­one. How­ever out­rageous the service request, he has programmed him­self over the years to cater to it, and Vincent finds him easy to manipulate. When Vincent finds Annie's card, he suggests that Max call her, because, “Life is short.” As that fifth stop approaches, Max finds him­self in an existential crisis. The most favorable out­come with Annie would be for him to ride off with her into the sun­set … or should we say sun­rise considering the time of day? But if he pleases Vincent by driving him to his fifth stop, the only sun­shine Annie is going to experience would be via the daisies she'll be pushing up. Max's solution is to embrace the nihilism Vincent has been espousing, which to our now captivated audience seems as bad an idea as was taking the freeway earlier. But if life is meaning­less, maybe it doesn't matter what we do.


To Max's chagrin when bodies started dropping, Vincent assured him such a one was “part of an ongoing criminal enter­prise.” Middleman Felix elaborated further, telling of, “Santa Claus's helper, Pedro el Negro. Black Peter. There's an old Mexican tale that tells of how Santa Claus got so very busy looking out for the good children that he had to hire some help to look out for the bad children.” That list of witness names is like Black Peter's list of bad children, “the little kids that were mis­be­having, that were not saying their prayers.” Curiously, if we count Max's meditations as prayers, he would be all prayed up, on the good list.

cop writing ticket(Prov. 22:29) “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” His diligence in his taxi prayer seems to have stood Max well in avoiding the judgment of petty minds, “mean [i.e. obscure] men.” A “deer” smacks into his wind­shield; let the coyotes take the carcass. Max needs to avoid a ticket by the cops. He needs to quiet the annoying dispatcher and assuage his worry wart mom. When he witnesses a drop by low level drug dealer Ramone, he picks up the interest of under­cover narcotics officers of the LAPD. At a hit on a bent lawyer, Max is accosted by a couple street punks. He has to clear matters with a drug dealing gangster, Felix (Javier Bardem.) Before he's done, every­one wants a piece of him: two sets of body­guards, club Security, the police, and the fibbies. Vincent remarks that the only one who didn't show up was the Polish Cavalry.

It's good if Max can get Justice Dept. lawyer Annie in his corner and owing him big time. As for any cruel judgment of him by critics or audience, Max passes off his behavior as “Twilight Zone shit.”

Production Values

” (2004) was directed by Michael Mann. It was written by Stuart Beattie and the music score was done by James Newton Howard. The cinema­tog­rapher was Dion Beebe. It stars Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, and Jada Pinkett Smith. It's not an all-star cast, but we do see a cameo or two. The leads were well rehearsed for their parts and fit them hand-in-glove.

MPAA rated it R for violence and language. It was well edited to maintain tension throughout. It had a good script by Stuart Beattie, and cinema­tog­raphers Dion Beebe and Paul Cameron did a good job of capturing the night scenes with high definition film.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This was a most excellent movie for its tense action and thought provoking dialogue. It does resemble a Twilight Zone episode inasmuch as it occurs all in one night, with major incursion into the realm of imagination, and ends with some kind of life lesson hard to put into words. It seems to favor diligence in prayer, even a formless kind.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Box, C.J. The Disappeared. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2018. Print.