Collateral ★★★★½

A film about a man living a half-existence dreaming of a dream he'll never obtain, colliding fates with another man living half an existence bound by rules he'll never break. For all Vincent does to snap Max out of his self-made lie, for all Vincent's talk of seizing control over life, it's interesting that he, if anyone, is far more captive. Max is a half-man who still has half a life ahead of him, weighed down by circumstance but with the capacity to break free; Vincent is a half-man who's already half-dead, with no capacity to break out of his fatal contract. There is no taking control of one's life if one's life is always about to end. Their relationship, by circumstance now entangled, becomes one of passing the torch. Max may not know it, but the moment Vincent knocked on his cab door is the moment Vincent became his mentor, for Max to learn, surpass, and eventually go his own way. Wherever he is, I'm sure Vincent is content knowing that Max could do what he could not.

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