¶IN “”Collateral,”” the restless new thriller from the chief Michael Mann, the city never dozes; it doesn’t unwind. Set in Los Angeles generally after dull, after the city’s daylight has offered approach to cool noir, the story fixates on a cab driver, Max (Jamie Foxx), and the professional killer Vincent (Tom Cruise), who bounces a ride with him profound into the night. As the pair cover the city, circling over exchanges and down totally open roads, they travel a scene bursting at the seams with wild creatures and more out of control men, uproarious with new music and prattle, and punctured by the hard pop of infrequent gunfire.
¶ Following a couple of preliminaries, incorporating some coquettish minutes with Jada Pinkett Smith as a harried traveler, the story gets down to its messy business with Vincent hopping into Max’s carefully perfect taxicab. Nattily turned out in a dim suit and coordinating salt-and-pepper hair and light facial hair, Vincent takes the story absolutely seven minutes east of downtown.
¶ With the meter running, Max sits tight for his toll, fetishistically poring over extravagance auto pamphlets and fantasizing about the limousine organization he would like to begin. At that point a body lands splat on the top of the taxi, shattering the cabbie’s nerves and a huge segment of his front window, and Stuart Beattie’s screenplay kicks into overdrive.