“Virtuoso”: rated 4.4 out of 5, one of Tom Cruise’s best films returns to the cinema 20 years later! – Cinema News

“Virtuoso”: rated 4.4 out of 5, one of Tom Cruise’s best films returns to the cinema 20 years later! – Cinema News
“Virtuoso”: rated 4.4 out of 5, one of Tom Cruise’s best films returns to the cinema 20 years later! – Cinema News

In 2004, Tom Cruise played one of his rare villain roles in Michael Mann’s “Collateral”. A thriller released in our theaters on May 1, where he offers us one of his best performances… and an involuntary stunt.

Even if he experienced a bit of a slump between 2006 and 2008, with the semi-failure of Mission Impossible III and the end of his contract with Paramount, Tom Cruise is still there. And he continues to make each new film an event, even if we can regret that his career, as solid and spectacular as it is today, has lost what made it so interesting twenty years ago: the risk taking.

Not necessarily physical, because he has done it regularly since filming Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol on the tallest tower in the world. We’re talking more about acting, when he let directors such as Stanley Kubrick (Eyes Wide Shut), Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia) or Steven Spielberg (Minority Report, War of the Worlds) take him out of his comfort zone.

Without forgetting Michael Mann who, in 2004, offered him one of his rare villain roles in Collateral. An urban thriller magnified by the way in which the director of Heat films the city of Los Angeles at night using digital cameras. The time for a nocturnal swerve in which Tom Cruise looks like a lone wolf, with his gray hair matching his suit.

In front of Michael Mann’s (digital) camera, the star plays Vincent. A hitman who chance places in the back seat of Max (Jamie Foxx), a taxi driver who will become his unwilling accomplice when he witnesses a murder committed during their first stop. And its long, well-paid race to become a mortal and twilight journey which will only end at the light of dawn.

Maximum investment…

As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the film is re-released in our theaters. In a restored version which will only accentuate its cold beauty and its aesthetic, necessarily less revolutionary today than in 2004, but still as fascinating. In an opus which, if it does not have the scale of Heat, reveals itself to be falsely modest and remains among the peaks of its author. Whether it stretches time until we lose our bearings, or accelerates the pace like in this fantastic nightclub sequence.

It doesn’t matter if the plot is simple and if a few big strings are lying around on the road. We are here faced with a pure exercise in staging. With a fully invested actor, as usual, who has learned to kill a man with his bare hands, with a knife and a gun, and to identify places to escape as quickly as possible. Before going so far as to follow one of the artistic directors to stick a post-it on his back, disguised as a FedEx courier.

…and unintentional stunt for Tom Cruise

At the time, Jamie Foxx seemed to steal the spotlight, when his character became less passive and took over the hitman. Twenty years later, the Oscar winner’s performance as Ray is still going strong, but Tom Cruise’s remains the most impressive. Because it stands out within his filmography and reminds us of the wonderful actor that he is, in addition to being an outstanding daredevil.

An aspect which is also present in Collateral. Not just during the fight scenes, gun shooting and running, his guilty pleasure. Because we must also take into account this totally involuntary fall, when Vincent breaks a window using a wheeled chair and jumps through the debris, protecting his face… to land on said chair and give us a fall memorable.

We do not know if the insurers present on the set felt unwell while witnessing the scene. But this involuntary gag fits in spite of itself with the realistic and authentic side sought by Michael Mann, who decided to keep the take in the edit for this reason. If you discover the feature film when it is released in theaters (or its rebroadcast on Arte on May 12), know that this drop was not planned.

And we want you to dive, for the first time, into this feverish nocturnal trip, which has lost none of its strength as it prepares to blow out its twenty candles, quite the contrary. And remains, even today, one of the best films of its director and its star.



PREV with 1h40 of screening, the film fits into the new Pixar standard!
NEXT “A massacre”: this actor from the Harry Potter saga gets turned on live on TV!