Collateral | 2004
The Los Angeles filming locations for Collateral look predictably seductive as Michael Mann follows up Heat with another love letter to the city, filming almost entirely at night on high-definition video.
In fact, the original setting for the story of an unwitting cab driver hired to ferry a hitman from job to job, was New York. But once Mann took over direction, the action was switched to Los Angeles.
Cabbie Max (Jamie Foxx) drops off prosecutor Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith), and picks up Vincent, supposedly at ‘312 Spring Street, downtown’ – which would be the United States Courthouse. And while the building certainly is downtown Los Angeles, it’s the Gas Company Building, 555 West Fifth Street at Grand Avenue (previously seen in Speed and Charlie’s Angels.
It all starts to go wrong for Max when a dead body plummets onto his cab. The site of what turns out to be the first hit is given as ‘1039 South Union Street’, but is 1839 South Union Avenue, at West Washington Boulevard, southwest of downtown. Although Max prides himself on his knowledge of Los Angeles thoroughfares, when they head off to ‘7565 Fountain Avenue’, in West Hollywood, they’re pulled over by the cops on Cahuenga, by the bus-stop benches between Franklin Avenue and Dix Street. Max seems to have overshot a little – this is northeast of Hollywood (and the ‘Fountain’ apartment itself appears to look out over downtown Los Angeles).
The jazz club, in which the unfortunate Daniel (Barry Shabaka Henley) becomes Vincent’s second job, after retailing his Miles Davis anecdote, is Cheerio’s, 4333 Leimert Boulevard, Leimert Park. (tel: 323.298.8672). Desperately trying to halt the killings, Max makes off with Vincent’s precious laptop, throwing it onto the I-10 Freeway from the footbridge at City Terrace, east of downtown.
It’s down to the refineries of Wilmington, south Los Angeles, for the next hit. The club in which Max is obliged to pass himself off as Vincent, though, is in East LA. It’s El Rodeo, 8825 East Washington Boulevard, Pico Rivera, East LA (tel: 562.942.0755).
Next stop is Koreatown, in midtown Los Angeles, to take out the Korean gangster in ‘Fever’ disco. The exterior of the club is Bliss, in the old Chapman Market Building, 3465 West Sixth Street at South Kenmore Avenue (tel: 213.365.1222). Don’t be disappointed. The interior was recreated in the studio at seven times the size of the real thing.
Max puts his foot to the floor on Figueroa Street, south past Arco Plaza, 505 South Flower Street, and the football mural on the three vast blocks of Hotel Figueroa, 939 South Figueroa Street, before flipping the cab at the intersection of Figueroa and 10th, outside the Staples Center
He legs it off up Flower Street, grabbing a cellphone from a man outside the downtown branch of the excruciatingly hip Standard Hotel, 550 South Flower Street.
Figuring out that (coincidence!), Annie is Vincent’s final target, Max tries to call her from the roof of the parking garage of the 52-story 777 Tower, 777 South Figueroa Street at West 8th Street. Mann needed a roof overlooked by skyscrapers but, unfortunately, the 777 garage, which fitted the bill perfectly, is used by the secret service. The film company persuaded the spooks to allow them, under strict supervision, two hours to grab the scene and clear out.
Next door is Ernst & Young Plaza (previously Citicorp Plaza), 725 Figueroa Street, which became the lobby of Annie’s office. Conveniently, it’s adjacent to the Seventh and Figueroa Metro Station, into which Max and Annie are pursued.
Supposedly heading south on the Blue Line, the train is actually a Green Line, heading west, stopping briefly at Harbor Freeway Station (itself, a spectacular stop, perched within a knot of freeways).
Max and Annie leave Vincent behind at the end of the line Marine-Redondo Station, 2406 Marine Avenue in Redondo Beach – the striking station at which Mann's Heat opens – before a final clinch on Marine Avenue, beneath the station.