Anyone following me on Twitter will understand that I’m a huge fan of Miami Vice. I’m a big fan of the style, the guns, the music, and in a former life I wanted to be a detective. What’s interesting about Miami Vice is that it was created by Michael Mann who is also a very prolific movie director. Some of his movies include Heat, Last of the Mohicans, Manhunter, and Thief. However it was one of Mann’s latest movies that is my favorite. That movie is Collateral.
Collateral is a movie about a hitman named Vincent (Tom Cruise), who comes to LA to kill a bunch of witnesses for a trial that is about to take place the next day. His method of operation is he hires a cab driver named Max (Jamie Foxx), to drive him around all night under the guise of doing real estate deals. After Max finds out the truth about Vincent, Vincent forces Max to continue driving him around all night to continue the murders.
The movie centers on intimate conversations that take place inside a cab between two radically different people on different paths in life. One seemingly insane person in Vincent who also seems to be in complete control of his destiny. Another mild mannered everyman in Max who has dreams of doing bigger things in life.
In essence, this movie breaks down to one central message: Carpe Diem, or seize the day. The movie is a clash of ideals between two men in a cab together. Vincent’s whole philosophy is based on seizing the day, while Max is caught up in so much fear that he’s afraid to take action on his goals in life. It isn’t until Vincent straight up calls Max out on his BS that the direction of the movie changes.
What the fuck are you still doing driving a cab?
This one line is incredible and cuts through all of Max’s bullshit, but it also speaks directly to the audience. How many of us have these crazy dreams of stuff we want to do. The reality is that we can actually do anything, but we let our fear of failure stop us. Vincent makes this crystal clear when he says, “all it ever took was a down payment on a Lincoln Towncar”
For myself, I wanted to start making money doing niche sites, blogging, and e-commerce. I have actually been reading about different ventures of making money on the internet for years. I always had the dream to have my own online business and live wherever I wanted. The reality was much different. I was working in a beer store for years, and later working for a medical records company. I had to go back and ask myself what the hell I was doing.
There’s a bunch of other scenes through the movie that are incredible and show Vincent cutting through Max’s lies and deceptions. Max has this plan of starting a limo company that he tells drivers. He tells them this because he’s ashamed of being a cab driver and sees it as low class. When he tells Vincent this, Vincent immediately asks how long he’s been a cab driver.
The look of astonishment on Vincent’s face after hearing this is incredible.
How many of us are lying to ourselves that we’re actually getting stuff done, when in reality we are just spinning wheels? I worked in a beer store for many years spinning wheels, so I know exactly this feeling. The answer is to just take action right now, or “fuck it, I’m going in“.
There’s another powerful scene in the movie where Vincent randomly asks Max if he’s going to call a woman whose number he got earlier in the movie. Max responds by saying “I don’t know, maybe”. Vincent knows what this really means.
When you are going to do something, you do it. There isn’t any maybes or I don’t knows. Vincent knows this and encourages him to call her if they happen to get out of the situation they are in.
There is a whole industry of people on the internet who sell you how to meet women. The reality is it’s as easy as saying hello. This industry relies on the fact that guys are afraid of rejection. The real trick is just taking action. It’s no different than anything else.
Television and movies are so bad these days that I would rather watch the movie Predator for the 100th time than new episodes of whatever is on the major networks. Popular movies these days are so bad that it’s awesome to find a gem hidden in all of the crap. Collateral is one of those gems. It wasn’t that popular of a movie when it came out, and if you ask people about it now they’ll respond by saying something like “That was the one where Tom Cruise had grey hair right?”
I highly recommend giving Collateral a shot if you have never seen it before. Besides the great message, there’s some great shooting scenes in it as well.
Get Collateral here.
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