Sympathy for the Devil vs. Collateral: A Comparison of Two Thrilling Road Movies

What do you get when you combine a mysterious passenger, a reluctant driver, a series of deadly encounters and a nightmarish journey through a city of sin? You get two of the most exciting and suspenseful road movies of the 21st century: Sympathy for the Devil and Collateral. Both films feature a pair of mismatched protagonists who are forced to embark on a high-stakes mission that will test their limits and reveal their true selves. But how do these two films compare in terms of plot, characters, themes and style? Let's find out.

The Plot

In Sympathy for the Devil, Nicolas Cage plays a ruthless hitman who hijacks a car driven by Joel Kinnaman, a soon-to-be father on his way to the hospital where his wife is about to give birth. Cage claims that Kinnaman is a former mob accountant who betrayed his boss and has been hiding in Las Vegas for years. He orders him to drive him to five different locations where he has to kill his targets, while keeping him at gunpoint and tormenting him with his twisted sense of humor. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles and enemies, as well as some unexpected revelations that will change their relationship.

In Collateral, Tom Cruise plays a cold-blooded assassin who hires Jamie Foxx, a mild-mannered cab driver, to take him to five different locations where he has to kill his targets, while keeping him at gunpoint and manipulating him with his charm and intelligence. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles and enemies, as well as some unexpected allies that will challenge their views. They also cross paths with Jada Pinkett Smith, a federal prosecutor who has a connection with both of them.

Both films have a similar premise and structure, but they differ in some key aspects. Sympathy for the Devil is more of a psychological thriller that focuses on the mind games and power dynamics between Cage and Kinnaman, while Collateral is more of an action thriller that focuses on the chase and the shootouts between Cruise and Foxx. Sympathy for the Devil also has more twists and turns in its plot, while Collateral has more realism and credibility in its plot.

The Characters

Both films feature two main characters who are polar opposites in terms of personality, morality and goals. Cage and Cruise play the antagonists who are professional killers with no remorse or empathy, while Kinnaman and Foxx play the protagonists who are ordinary people with dreams and fears. However, there are also some differences between them.

Cage's character is more flamboyant and eccentric than Cruise's character. He wears flashy clothes, sports a weird haircut, speaks with a fake accent and enjoys playing games with his victim. He also reveals more about his past and his motivations than Cruise's character, who is more secretive and reserved. He wears a simple suit, has a clean-cut appearance, speaks with a calm voice and keeps his emotions under control. He also conceals more about his past and his motivations than Cage's character.

Kinnaman's character is more passive and submissive than Foxx's character. He is easily intimidated by Cage's character and follows his orders without much resistance. He also doubts his own abilities and choices more than Foxx's character, who is more assertive and defiant. He challenges Cruise's character and tries to escape from his grip. He also believes in his own potential and values more than Kinnaman's character.

The Themes

Both films explore some common themes such as fate, morality, identity and redemption. They raise questions such as: How much control do we have over our lives? How do we define right from wrong? Who are we really? How can we change for the better?

However, they also have some different themes that reflect their respective genres and tones. Sympathy for the Devil deals with themes such as revenge, betrayal, guilt and forgiveness. It shows how Cage's character seeks vengeance for his past wrongs, how Kinnaman's character faces the consequences of his past actions, how they both struggle with their guilt and how they both find some form of forgiveness in the end.

Collateral deals with themes such as isolation, connection, ambition and regret. It shows how Cruise's character lives a lonely and empty life as a killer, how Foxx's character lives a stagnant and unfulfilled life as a driver, how they both seek some form of connection in their lives and how they both face some form of regret in the end.

The Style

Both films have a distinctive style that reflects their director's vision and their setting's atmosphere. Sympathy for the Devil is directed by Yuval Adler, who is known for his gritty and realistic films about espionage and terrorism. He uses a Viper FilmStream High-Definition Camera to capture the neon-lit and decadent Las Vegas in a vivid and immersive way. He also uses a fast-paced and nonlinear editing to create a tense and unpredictable mood.

Collateral is directed by Michael Mann, who is known for his stylish and sophisticated films about crime and justice. He uses a digital video camera to capture the dark and moody Los Angeles in a sleek and elegant way. He also uses a smooth and steady editing to create a cool and calm mood.

The Conclusion

Sympathy for the Devil and Collateral are two thrilling road movies that have many similarities but also many differences. They both offer a compelling and captivating ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. They both feature excellent performances from their lead actors, who showcase their range and charisma. They both explore some interesting and relevant themes that will make you think and feel. However, they also have their own strengths and weaknesses, depending on your preferences and expectations. Sympathy for the Devil is more twisted and surprising, while Collateral is more realistic and credible. Sympathy for the Devil is more psychological and emotional, while Collateral is more action-packed and intellectual. Sympathy for the Devil is more flashy and eccentric, while Collateral is more sleek and sophisticated.

So, which one do you prefer? Which one do you think is better? The choice is yours.

Sherif M. Awad
Sherif M. Awad
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