I've started writing this review three times now and I keep erasing what I write. First I started by saying how I brought beer and wasabi and twix to the movie. But there was nothing really exciting bout that. Erased. Then I was gonna talk about how I had a seating situation but that was sort of neither here nor there. Erased. Then I started to go into how I was gonna see this movie Maria Full Of Grace but decided to see Collateral instead. Erased. None of those seemed like good starts..  and I guess this one seems the worst of all. But what's done is done so I might as well keep going.

OK! Collateral! I was sorta psyched for this flick. I had a slight suspicion that this flick could be something greatly subtle and shockingly good. It wernt. Oh well. There was some good stuff in it and it looked coolio but it waint all that. It was directed by this dude Michael Mann. Whenever I see his name I think "Miami Vice". I can't help it. Michael Mann was Miami Vice. I loved Miami Vice and saw his name week after week. In its heyday that show rocked. I wondered if a guy with those roots would be able to tone down city crime cool to cross over to being truly 'cool'. Although the Miami Viceness is hidden pretty deep in Collateral,  I get the feeling this flick's soul is a too-tan guy with a pink tshirt, turquoise blazer with pushed up sleeves, and loafers (no socks). I could smell the cologne. And just like Miami Vice the plot was pretty thin. It was forgettable. There was a little too much music. Shots of cars driving. Hubcabs. Street lights. Guns. Crashes. Talky. Escapes. Self-awareness. Prop characters. Clubs. Pseudo-tension. The same soup.

I'm not saying this movie sucked. It definitely didn't. It had a certain quality and texture that was difficult not to appreciate and soothe into. Tom Cruise is fun to watch as always. Jamie Foxx proved himself once and for good. So that works and from the get-go I was into this movie. I was happy that it started off slow. No credits. Cab ride. Nothing going on. After the first action happened I was definitely digging it. I felt certain that after the next scene I would be completely sold on the flick. I took out my checkbook and had a pen in hand. But the next scene came and went and I didn't write the check. I'd assume the next one would close the deal with me. Then it was the next. And the next. Scene after scene were good. Some were very good. There were some shocking moments and twists. But something was missing. Nothing sold me on this film. I wasn't buying it.

And halfway through the movie I put my checkbook away. They lost the sale. Tom Cruise wasn't as scary as I had hoped he'd be. The depth went as deep as a kid in a sandbox with a plastic shovel. The plot was simply an excuse to move the film forward. So I sat back and enjoyed this spectacle and atmosphere the same way as enjoyed a Miami Vice episode. It looked cool. It felt cool. Mood good. The glimpse into this underground world thing. Night time. The Cruise. The Foxx. The Mann. (those names!) The this. The that. The lights. The camera. The action. Everything was there. Except one thing. A really solid script. If it had that it wouldn't have wernted- it woulded. And it coulda avoided folding into the standard ending. When push comes to shove it just seemed like black and copper replaced pink and turquoise, Cruise and Foxx mirrored Crockett and Tubbs (sorta), and Paul Oakenfold replaced Jan Hammer. I'm not sure if that's real progress.... just refinement.

Three Good Things About This Movie

- Some scenes were legitimately surprising.
- There was something about the whole thing that was vaguely hypnotic.
-  It kept things moving.

Three Bad Things About This Movie

- Someone so precise planning absolutely everything to a tee and relying on a random cabbie to not mess up the plan?
- Not enough boobs.
- The law enforcement side of things was a mess and it confused me.

All in all this movie is a cool rainy day movie. It's actually a pretty mellow flick. It is as good as Miami Vice was at its prime and that show was pretty frickin cool. But in reality if a rerun of Miami Vice was on TV I doubt I'd stop for more than a minute to get a feel for what it was and move on- and when this movie comes on cable I'm sure I'll treat it the same way.