Friday, 06 August 2004
Michael Mann returns to the streets of L.A., which he depicted so well in “Heat,” with this very suspenseful thriller pitting an intelligent hit man against a sharp-witted cab driver. It takes place in one night from just before sundown to sunrise, and runs the gamut emotionally: it’s occasionally funny, frequently shocking, and almost always taut with tension. It reaches a climax at a Korean night club—and then sustains that climax for almost another half hour, winding up on a nearly-deserted commuter train.
Mann’s earliest films, such as “Thief,” were pretentious and annoying, so clear was his devout belief that he was bringing Art to the realm of the crime movie. But from “The Last of the Mohicans” onward, his movies have been well above average (“Ali” being the weakest of the lot, and that was good, too). He’s always fancied ...