year: 2002
cast: Tom Cruise, Jamie Fox
director: Michael Mann
rating: **1/2

Not really a fan of Jamie Fox, sometimes a Tom Cruise fan and haven't liked a Michael Mann flick in ages (and despised "Heat"), so I didn't think I'd enjoy this movie but I really dug the first hour. Tom Cruise, with a frosted buzz and robotically-adaptive intensity (he hasn't been this good in ages) is Vincent, a hit man who hires a dreamer cabbie Max (Fox) to drive him to each of his kills... with a gun to his head Max complies on this odyssey and it's a skillfully-paced cat-and-mouse game until half-way through when things morph into a typical big-budget high-octane "pumping action thriller" with an stunningly unrealistic shootout in a crowded rave-nightclub and a drawn-out climax involving Vincent (who, at this point, has become Freddy Kruger) going after Max's dreamgirl. It's a damn shame. Things were genuinely amazing for that first hour, providing a laidback, dialog-driven, psychologically-intense neo-noir mob flick by Michael Mann who, I guess, felt he had to channel Michael Bay to drive things home... And it takes a long time to get there.

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