This is director Michael Mann’s best film since Heat
Mann, the force behind Miami Vice
and creator of astoundingly good-looking movies, has sometimes been accused of being a surface director, someone who puts all of the emphasis on the visuals but shies away from the deeper emotional aspects of his characters. That’s crap. Mann is such a good director that his visuals tell deeper stories than most directors’ dialogue-heavy scenes. Tom Cruise plays Vincent, a hired killer with grey hair and a snazzy suit, forcing a cabbie (Jamie Foxx) to take him on a tour of death. Vincent is easily the ugliest character Cruise has ever allowed himself to play, and he has created a memorable bastard. He immerses himself in hatred, a character who has endured a life of hardship to become soulless, a walking callus in a sharp suit. He played a cold pool hustler, also named Vincent, in Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money
. Perhaps his character here is Paul Newman’s protégé all grown up, having visited every pool hall and scammed every player. Now he just shoots people. Impeccably directed and acted, it’s a nice addition to the Michael Mann universe.