Collateral (2004) Script

[airplane landing]

[wheels touching down]

[chattering]

[footsteps]

[loudspeaker, people chattering]


You okay? I'm fine, mate. Don't worry about it.

You all right?

Enjoy L.A.


[speaks French]


[men yelling in Spanish]

He did it.

[silence]


[man] Everthing's always about you. [woman] It's not.

That gearhead was being sarcastic and you know it.

I just didn't see it that way. Bullshit.

What about the dig about the makeover?

What do you want me to do? I work with him, for chrissake.

You're capable of taking care of your own shit.

You know something? Last time I checked, you were sleeping with me.

So unless you want to start fucking him, I suggest...


[both speaking Spanish]


Hey, pal. Where can I catch a shuttle to the airport around here?

Right there. Thanks.

It was him in that gold Lexus with the cell phone.

Are they still asking for a change of venue?

He's enhanceable because of priors in the early '80s.

Where to? Downtown. 31 2 North Spring Street.

Downtown.

Look, the transcriptions need to be done by 7 a.m., period, okay?

Hold on. Take Sepulveda to Slauson to La Brea.

Take La Brea north to 6th, into downtown.

So what? You'll be up late.

I'm pulling an all-nighter too, so save the tears.

I'll take 105 east to the 110. It's faster. What?

The 105 to the 110 will get you there quicker.

The 110 turns into a parking lot around USC.

But once you get to La Brea north of Santa Monica, it's jammed.

The 110 north of the 10, you get people driving to Pasadena and they drive slow.

Yeah, they do, but what I do is I get off on Grand and then l...

Surface roads is what you want, that's what we'll do.

Are we taking bets?

Are we? And what if you're wrong?

I don't think I'll be wrong, but if I am...

...your ride's free.

Okay, you got yourself a deal.


Go ahead, say it. Say what?

Go ahead. I got lucky with the lights.

You weren't lucky. What you were was right.

I was wrong...

...Max.

You mind turning that up?

You like the classics.

I do. I used to play in high school. Let me guess. Woodwinds.

No. Strings. Never had the lungs for wind instruments.

Could've fooled me the way you were unloading on that cell phone.

[woman] Different instrument.

If you had just listened to me, we'd be all bogged down in traffic right now, and you would've made an extra five bucks.

Yeah, well, you keep that 5 bucks. Buy you something special. Go wild.

Really, it's not a big deal. Nothing big here.

How many cabbies do you know get you into an argument to save you money?

There were two of us. I had to kill the other one.

I don't like competition.

Take pride in being good at what you do?

What, this? No, this is part-time.

This is a fill-in job. Pay the bills.

But I will be the best at what I do. But that's something else.

What else? Just shaping up some things.

Like...?

Tell me.

Limo company I'm putting together. Island Limos.

It'll be like a island on wheels. A cool groove, like a club experience.

When you get to the airport, you won't want to get out of my limo.

So I do this part-time to get my Benz off leases... staff up, get the right client list. You know, things like that.

How do you like being a lawyer?

What are you, psychic? Little bit.

There's the dark pinstripe suit.

Elegant, not too flashy. That rules out advertising.

Plus a top-drawer briefcase that you live out of.

And the purse. A Bottega.

Anyway, a man gets in my cab with a sword, I figure he's a sushi chef.

[laughing] You?

Clarence Darrow.

Well, no, not quite. He worked defense. I'm a prosecutor.

Big case? Yeah.


[sighs]

Got us here fast. Of course.

But you didn't answer my question.

You like what you do?

Yeah.

But not today.

No, I do. Like, I can't wait.

I love standing in that courtroom.

At the same time, I get this...

...clenched up thing the night before the first days.

Clenched up? How?

I think I'm going to lose.

I think the case sucks, my exhibits aren't in order, I'm not prepared enough, people will find out I don't know what I'm doing and I've been running a charade all these years.

I represent the Department of Justice, and my opening statement will fall flat at the most important point and the jury will laugh at me.

And then I cry. I don't throw up.

A lot of people throw up. I have a strong stomach.

And then I pull myself together, I rewrite my opening statement... work my exhibits and that's what I do for the rest of the night.

That's my routine.

In the morning it starts and I'm fine.

You need a vacation.

I just had a vacation on the Harbor Freeway.

Not in a cab. You need to get your head straight.

Get your unified self up. Get harmonic, you know...

When did you last take a break? I go on vacation all the time.

How often? A dozen times a day.

My favorite spot:

Maldives lslands.

It's my own private getaway.

Things get heavy for me, I take five minutes out and I just go there.

And I just concentrate on absolutely nothing.

Here. Take it. I couldn't do that.

Take it because you need it a lot more than I do.

And it'll help you. I guarantee it.

Thanks, Max.

Go get 'em.


[tapping]

Hey.

I don't know...

In case you ever want to investigate a Fortune 500 company, or...

...argue cab routes.

[electronic beep] [unlocking]

[electronic beep]


Hey.

Come on, man, I'm sorry.

I didn't hear you, man. Come on.

I'll take you.

Where to? 1039 South Union Street.

Gotcha.

[man] How long you think this'll take? [Max] Seven minutes.

Seven. Not eight? Not six?

Two minutes from the 110 to Normandie. Normandie to Venice, three minutes.

Over to Union is one, plus one for "shit happens."

Okay if I time you? Knock yourself out.

What do I get if you're wrong? A free ride?

An apology. Already offered my free ride today.

To who? Some girl.

Did you get a date with her?

First time in L.A.?

No. Tell you the truth, whenever I'm here I can't wait to leave.

It's too sprawled out, disconnected. You know? That's me.

You like it? It's my home.

17 million people.

It's the fifth biggest economy in the world and nobody knows each other.

I read about this guy gets on the MTA here, dies.

[Max] Oh.

Six hours he rides the subway before anyone notices his corpse doing laps around L.A., people on and off sitting next to him.

Nobody notices.

[man] This is the cleanest cab I've ever been in.

[man] Regular ride?

Yeah, I share it with the day shift guy.

[man] You prefer nights?

People are more relaxed. Less stress, less traffic, better tips.

[man] How are the benefits? It's not that kind of job.

I'm not in this for the long haul. Just filling in.

Temporary while I get some things shaped up.

This is just temporary.

How long you been driving? 12 years.

Really?

What other things you putting together?

Um...

You know, I don't want to talk about it. Just a little business plan.

No offense. I just... None taken.

You're one of these guys that do instead of talk.

That's cool.

Seven minutes. Man, you're good.

I got lucky with the lights. Yeah, sure.

You probably know the light schedules too.

Listen, I'm in town on a real estate deal, close in one night.

I got five stops to make.

Collect signatures, see some friends, and then I got a 6 a.m. out of LAX.

Why don't you hang with me? The car's not for hire. Against regs.

[scoffing] Regulations?

They don't pay you sick leave. How much you pull down a shift?

How much? 350, 400.

Well, let me tell you what, I'll make it 600.

Man, I don't know.

An extra 1 00 you get me to LAX and I don't run for the plane.

I don't know about this. Yeah, you do.

I don't know, man. Yeah, you do.

600... Cool. We got a deal.

Now, here's 300 down. What's your name?

Max. Max, I'm Vincent.

[Max] All right.

I can't stay double-parked here.

I'll meet you in the alley behind the building.

Definitely not from around here.

[baby crying]

[Max] There you go.

[speaking Spanish on television]

[crashing]

Oh, no! Shit!

What the hell?!

Damn it!

My man, you all right?

[panting] Oh, shit. Fuck.

He fell on the cab.

He fell from up there on the motheefucking cab.

Shit. I think he's dead.

Good guess.

You killed him?

No, I shot him. Bullets and the fall killed him.

Fuck this, man.

Red light, Max. Hold on.

Put your hands down.

Put your hands down. OK.

Help me out. Pop the trunk. What?

Pop the trunk.

Come on, man. Move.

Come on. What you doing?

We're going to roll him off the roof.

Can't leave him here, so unless you want him up front with you, but given the hygiene. Oh, shit.

It's only a dead guy.

Grab his hands.

I can't do this. Grab his wrists.

You got it? He's twitching and shit.

[Max grunting]

Okay. That's good enough.

Let's go.

Why don't you just take the cab?

Take the cab? You take it.

I'll chill. I'll just chill.

They don't know who drives these half the time.

They never check. Okay, so just take it.

You, me...

You promise not to tell anybody, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Promise.

Get in the fucking car.

Get in the car.

[tires squeal]


Ramone?

[speaks Spanish]


Ramone?


Fuck.

Rampart Watch Commander, This is Detective Fanning, Narcotics.

Send two black-and-whites and a night detective to 1 039 South Union.

And contact SlD. I got a crime scene.

Roger, 1039 South Union,

[cars honking]

What are you doing? I got to clean up. This is a mess.

Lady Macbeth, we're sitting here and the light's green. Leave the seats.

[man] Asshole!

You no longer have the cleanest cab in La-La Land.

You got to live with that. You focus on the job. Drive.

7565 Fountain. You know it?

West Hollywood. How long you figure?

I don't know, 1 7 minutes.

Why?

Oh, no. Hold on, man.

I told you we had other stops tonight. You said you had to visit friends.

They're somebody's friends.

You drive a cab, I make my rounds.

You might make it through the night, come out 700 bucks ahead.

I'm not trying to piss you off, but I can't drive you around while you kill people. It ain't my job.

Tonight it is.

Look, you don't get it.

I mean it.

[stammering] l... I'm not up for this.

[Vincent] You're stressed. Yes, I am.

[Vincent] You're stressed. I understand that.

Now, you just keep breathing and stay calm.

Are you breathing? Shit.

Are you breathing? Okay, good. Yes.

Here's the deal.

You were going to drive me tonight and never be the wiser, but el gordo got in front of a window, did his high dive...

We're into plan B. You still breathing?

We gotta make the best of it. Improvise. Adapt to the environment.

Darwin. Shit happens. I Ching. Whatever. We got to roll with it.

"l Ching"? You threw a man out of a window.

I didn't throw him. He fell.

[Max] Well, what did he do to you? What?

[Max] What did he do to you? Nothing. I only met him tonight.

You just met him once and you kill him?

I should only kill people after I get to know them?

No, man. Six billion people on the planet, and you're bent out of shape because of one fat guy.

Who was he? What do you care?

Have you ever heard of Rwanda? Yes, I know Rwanda.

Tens of thousands killed before sundown.

Nobody's killed people that fast since Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Did you bat an eye, Max? What?

Did you join Amnesty lnternational or Oxfam?

Save the Whale, Greenpeace or something? No.

I off one fat Angeleno and you throw a hissy fit.

I don't know any Rwandans.

You don't know the guy in that trunk either.

Man.

If it makes you feel better, he was a criminal involved in a continuing criminal enterprise.

What, you just taking out the garbage?

Something like that. [siren]

[officer] Pull oVer to the right, Shit.

[Vincent] Get rid of them. How?

[Vincent] You're a cabby. Talk yourself out of a ticket.

Please, don't do anything. Then don't let me get cornered.

You don't have trunk space. I can't believe this.

Believe it. Don't. I'll talk to them.

[radio] A domestic disturbance, No additional units needed, He's probably married.

The other one has kids. Probably his wife's pregnant.

[tapping] I'll take care of it. I got it.

Just a second.

How you doing? My partner's going to help you out on that side.

License, registration. Uh, yeah.

I'm pulling you over because your windshield's smashed.

All this current? Yes, officer.

You have a food fight in here?

Yeah. I'll just clean it up.

Is this blood up here on your windshield?

Yeah, uh...

Yeah, uh, l...

I hit a deer. You hit a deer?

Yeah, over on...

I was on Slauson. A South Central deer?

They out there. It ran right in front of the car and I couldn't avoid it.

Why you still carrying a passenger?

I'm on my way to the depot and I could just drop him. His drop is on my way.

Your cab's unsafe to drive and we have to impound it.

We got to do a vehicle inventory.

Pop the trunk and step out the vehicle. Sir, you'll have to call another cab.

Is that necessary? I'm half a mile from here.

I'm afraid it is. Step out the vehicle. You too. Come on.

If you open that trunk, they go inside. You know what, it's been a long night.

Plus, the barn is right up there. Just give me a break.

This is my first fare.

Get out the cab. Open the trunk.

Step out. You too, sir. Please.

[radio] This is Rampart DiVision dispatch, Shots fired at 83rd and HooVer, All aVailable Precinct 26 units respond, OVer, Partner, we got to roll. Roger. En route.

Go straight to the garage. Have a nice night.


Stop here.


Hands on the wheel, at 1 0 and 2. Why?

Because I say so.

[radio] Max, You out there, you son of a bitch?

Who is that?

That's Lenny. Just dispatch.

[Lenny] I know you're there, Answer the call, What happens if you don't? He just keeps calling.

[Lenny] Max, answer,

Don't blow it.

Lenny, what's up? It's me. Just got off the phone with the cops, Desk sergeant called to check if you brought the cab in, Yeah, so?

So aside from I hate talking to cops, they tell me you crashed the goddamn cab?

No. No, I got crashed into. I didn't...

Do I care what, where, why? You're paying,

It was an accident. You're not liable.

It was an accident. I'm not liable.

I'm making you liable, It's coming out of your pocket, T ell him to stick this cab up his fat ass.

I can't. That's my boss. So?

I need my job. No, you don't.

[Lenny] You still there? I'm talking to you, He's not paying you a damn thing.

[Lenny] Who the hell is this?

Albert Riccardo, Asst. U.S. Attorney.

A passenger in this cab and I'm reporting you to the DMV.

[Lenny] Let's not get excited, How do I not get excited, listening to you try to extort a working man?

You know goddamn well your collision policy and liability umbrella will cover the damages.

What are you trying to pull, you sarcastic prick?

[Lenny] I was just,,, Tell it to him.

Here, tell him he's an asshole. Go ahead.

You're an asshole.

Tell him he pulls this shit again, you'll stick this yellow cab up his fat ass.

And next time you pull any shit...

I'll have to stick this yellow cab up your fat ass.

Crazy.

Shit!

[phone ringing]

[on TV],,,where a man wants his wife back or a boyfriend-girlfriend thing, We hear, "Get your protectiVe order, "

[man] A protectiVe order's a tool we use, but often times it's just a piece of paper to the stalker, [man] Mr, Clarke, there 's a notary here, Did he identify himself as a notary?

Yes, he did, All right, sure, send him up.

[woman on TV] Or shoots them? That happens too often, [man on TV] But we use it as a tool, I say a lot of times, in this situation strangers may write or call, But how often, in fact, are stalkers people that the recipient of those affections knows?

[honking]

[Max] Hey, I'm in the cab!

Hey!

Shit. Down here in the alley!

Shit.

[honking]

Hey, hold up.

Oh, man, yeah.

Yeah, right there. I'm in the cab, man, I'm stuck.

Thank you. Thank you.

Hey, look, I got to get out of here.

What's up? What's going on?

This guy tied me up, but he's in this building, doing wild shit.

I need to get out of here. You all tied up in there, huh?

Get me out so we can call the cops. Give me your wallet.

Are you kidding me? Do I look like I'm kidding you?

Listen, don't you see that my hands are tied to the steering wheel?

I don't care what they're tied to. I'll fuck you up.

Don't shoot, man. Then get your ass up.

Fuck.

What the fuck else you got in here? Jackpot.

Thanks, for real. Bop!

Yo, homey.

That my briefcase? This yours?

Yeah, it is. Why, you want it back?

How about your wallet?

What else you got for me, huh?

Fuck!

Where's the button? Under the dash?

Mind getting it?

You attract attention, you're going to get people killed who didn't need to be.

You understand?

Yeah. Yeah?

But, hey, new news...

We're ahead of schedule.

Like jazz? Sorry. What?

Jazz. You like jazz?

Not that much.

Guy told me about this place off Crenshaw.

Leimert Park. All the West Coast greats played there.

Dexter Gordon, Charlie Mingus, Chet Baker. Like that.

Come on, finish up. I'll buy you a drink.

[indistinct chatter] [helicopter overhead]

What's your informant's name? Ramone?

Ramone Ayala. Supposed to meet him in Bellflower last night.

He doesn't show up, I roll here, find this.

How long you been working this guy? Four months. He's a low-level player.

Part of a distribution network that hooks up to Felix.

Felix Reyes-Torrena?

Feds are all over him, don't want us anywhere near it.

Since when's LAPD working for the Feeb?

They'll just take our stuff, build their case, take the credit.

What's the point? The point is my guy flew out a window.

So if my Cl flies out a window, he's got Felix's handprints on his ass.

That makes it mine.

Is there a crime here? A homicide? You got a body?

Just a bunch of broken glass. And blood.

Down here, in the glass. Here's some more.

And there's some spatter patterns over there and over here.

[woman] Richard? Yeah, it's me.

Ramone went through that window... splat.

Glass here, then tires rolled over it.

Maybe he jumped.

Sure. He's depressed so he jumps four stories out of a window onto his head.

"That feels better" Picks himself up.

"Now I think I'll go on with the rest of my day"

Come on, man. Hey, Ray!

Catch.

Recent? You can still smell the cordite.

Old guy across the alley watching TV says he saw a cab earlier tonight with two guys walking around the hood. Description? He see anything?

Kind of saw. Guy's got glasses like Coke bottles.

There are 4,000 taxicabs in L.A. County. You got anything else?

That's it.

Okay. Keep knocking. Let's keep knocking.

Remember that Bay Area deal? Oakland?

Cabby drove around all night, killed three people, then put the gun to his head. He flipped out. So what?

So that Oakland detective never bought it.

Cabby had no criminal record or history of mental illness.

Pops three people, then himself?

Anyway, that detective always thought there was someone else in that cab.

[jazz music plays]


I never learned to listen to jazz.

It's off melody. Behind the notes. Not what's expected. lmprovising, like tonight. Like tonight?


Most people, ten years from now, same job, place, routine. Everthhing the same.

Just keeping it safe over and over. Ten years from now.

Man, you don't know where you'll be ten minutes from now.

Do you?

Who is that on the trumpet?

[woman] That's Daniel, baby, he's the owner.

He's terrific. Would you be so kind as to invite him over after his set?

I got to buy him a drink. Sure thing, darling.

[Daniel] Now see, I was about 1 9, bussing tables right here.

The money wasn't shit, but that wasn't the point.

It was about being around the music. And I was.

Take this one night. July 22nd, 1 964. Who you think walks through that door?

[woman] Bye, baby.

Miles Davis. That's right. In the flesh?

I'm talking about through those doors, the coolest man on the planet.

Jesus.

Anyway, he had been recording a session up at Columbia, up on Vine.

So Miles comes through that door.

Before you know it, he's up on the bandstand, jamming with the band.

I mean, it had to be...

Oh, it was scary. I mean, the dude was so focused, man.

Plus, he was kind of a scary cat anyway.

Everybody and their mama knew you don't just come up and talk to Miles Davis.

I mean, he may have looked like he was chilling, but he was absorbed.

This one young, hip couple, one of them tried to shake his hand one day.

And the guy says, "Hi, my name is.."

Miles said, "Get out of my face, you jive motheefucker.

Take your silly bitch with you"

[both laugh]

You know? That was Miles, man.

That's the way he was when he was in his musical headspace. Fierce.

But did you get to talk to him? Better than that.

I played for about 20 minutes.

[Vincent] Unbelievable.

How'd you do? How'd I do?

You really ain't shit playing next to Miles Davis.

But he carried my ass.

[Vincent] What'd he say?

He said one word: Cool.

Cool?

That's it? Yeah.

That meant, "Good, but not ready"

It meant, "Look me up when you are"

Did you?

No. I got drafted and got into some other things.

And by the time I got back to music, season had passed.

You know, I was born in 1 945, but that night was the moment of my conception.

Right here in this room. Crowd's not here now.

Well, jazz ain't the draw that it used to be.

What a great story.

I got to tell the people in Culiacan and Cartagena that story.

You know the folks in Culiacan and Cartagena?

Afraid so.

Just when I thought you were a cool guy.

I am a cool guy with a job I contracted to do.

Come on, give the dude a pass. I'm working here.

You're the one talking about improvisation.

You like the guy, how he plays. Let's just play a little jazz.

Improvi... That's funny coming from you.

How's this?

I'll ask a question. [Daniel] What question?

A jazz question.

Now, you get it right, we roll.

You disappear tonight.

If I walk out of here tonight, I will go so far away, it'll be just like I was dead.

And one more thing: These people and their rep here, Felix...

Well, you tell them I'm sorry.

You tell them I had to. They laid a grant of immunity on me.

It was either play ball or go back inside.

And I'm not going back inside.

Yeah.

Lay it on me.

Where did Miles learn music?

I know everthhing about Miles. Then let's have it.

Music school. He got into music school, right?

His father was a dentist, east St. Louis.

Invested in agriculture, made plenty of money.

He sent Miles to Juilliard School of Music, New York, 1 945.

Man.

Dropped out in less than a year, tracked down Charlie Parker on 52nd Street who mentored him for the next three years.


Hey.

No, I'm done. Find you another cab. Max.

Leave me alone. I'm collateral, anyway.

[grunting]

[Max panting]

I am not playing.

You played him, man.

He got the answer right...

...would you have let him go?

[Lenny on radio] 102, Max, What is it with this guy?

You hassling my driver again? Who are you?

The same guy you talked to last time.

Max's mother's driVing me crazy, Put him on the line, please, Hang on.

Carefully.

Yeah?

Your mother's calling, "Why didn't you show?

Are you all right? Where are you?" [Vincent] Show for what?

T ell her I can't make it tonight.

I'm not related to you, Tell her yourself, Show up for what?

She's in the hospital.

You visit every night? Yeah. What's the difference?

You don't show up, it breaks routine. So?

So people start looking for you, this cab. That's not good.

I'm not taking you to see my mother.

Since when was any of this negotiable.

Two paces ahead, one to the left.

Flowers?

It's a waste of money. Won't mean a thing to her.

She carried you in her womb for nine months.

People buy flowers. Buy flowers.

Excuse me.

Keep the change.

[bell rings]

[man] Hold that elevator, please.

Floor? Five. Thanks.

Having a good night? Mezzo mezzo, You?

Excuse me.


Hey, Ma.

I've been calling and calling.

I got caught up at work. Why couldn't you call me?

I'm lying here wondering if something terrible happened to you.

I brought you flowers. What am I gonna do with flowers?

Cheer up. How?

By worrying that you spend money on stuff that's just going to wilt and die?

See what I mean?

I didn't buy you the flowers. He did.

Who?

Why didn't you tell me we had company?

What's your name? Sorry my son is rude.

No harm done, ma'am.

You paid for my flowers?

They're beautiful.

Well, Max?

Mother, this is Vincent. Vincent, this is my mother, lda.

I am very happy to meet you, Mrs. Durocher.

[chuckling] Oh, just call me lda.

Ida. I was with Max when he got the call.

[lda] You came here to see me? [Vincent] It's nothing, ma'am.

Tell my son.

You have to hold a gun to his head to make him do anything.

You must be one of Max's important clients.

Client? You know, I like to think of myself as his friend.

[lda] Max never had many friends.

Always talking to himself in the mirror. It's unhealthy.

How many times I got to ask don't do that?

Do what?

Don't talk about me like I'm not right here in the room here.

What's he saying?

[Vincent] He says he's standing right here in the room here.

Yes, you are. He's sensitive.

I know. But I'm sure you're very proud of him.

Of course I'm proud. He started with nothing, you know?

Look at him today. Here, Vegas...

Mom, he is not interested in hearing about all that, okay?

I came to see you, I saw you, you look good, let's go.

I am very interested, lda. Please.

Limousine companies. Is that right?

He drives famous people around.

Famous people. Limousine companies.

Now, that's quite an achievement.

[lda] What did you say your name was? My name's Vincent, ma'am.

Visit again?

[Vincent] No, I'm just in town tonight.

[lda] When you come back. [Vincent] Sure.

Max!


Don't!


[Max screams]

All my prep was in there. You are screwing with my work.

[ragged breathing]

Let's see what else you can do.

[Max groans]

Well, I've had four come in tonight. Maybe one's your guy.

No, not Ramone. Let's see this one.

No, next.

There's something funny about this, though.

These three all came in within half an hour of each other, right?

The kid and that last guy, both done by the same shooter, I think.

Why do you say that?

Wound pattern.

Two in the sternum, one in the head.

This guy is shooting tight groups too, all right? Check this out.

Double taps are a couple millimeters apart.

Let's see this one.

See what I mean?

Holy shit.

Can I use your phone?

Come on, come on, wake up.

[ringing]

Hello.

It's Fanning. I'm still down here at the morgue at Sisters of Charity.

John Does didn't pan out, but you'll never guess who's in the meat locker.

Who?

Sylvester Clarke, criminal attorney turned lawyer criminal.

[Fanning] Including Ramone, who he represented, who's still missing, Both are in the exotic substances business together.

There's something going on, and I don't think the feds know about it.

Stay on your cell phone. I got the ASAC's phone.

I'll hook up with you in 30 minutes.

Good.

Going to a place called El Rodeo. It's on Washington Boulevard, Pico Rivera.

Where at on Washington? Look it up.

Limos, huh?

Don't start.

I'm not the one lying to my mother.

She hears what she wants to hear. I don't disillusion her.

Right. Maybe she hears what you tell her.

Whatever I tell her's never good enough. It's always been that way.

So, what's at El Rodeo?

Just drive.

They project onto you their flaws.

What they don't like about themselves, their lives, whatever.

They rank on you instead.

How do you know?

I had a father like that.

Mothers are worse. Wouldn't know.

My mother died before I remember her.

What happened to your father?

Hated everthhing I did.

Got drunk, beat me up, foster homes. Went back with him. Like that.

Then what?

I killed him.

I was 1 2.

[laughing]

I'm kidding.

He died of liver disease.

Well, I'm sorry.

No, you're not.

So, what is this "driving a cab temporarily" It's all bullshit?

It is not bullshit.

[Vincent] 1 2 years isn't temporary.

Got to get the cash together. Insurance, bonds, maintenance, tires.

Got to staff up, get the right client list.

It's not just get the car and put asses in the seats.

Why not?

Because lsland Limos is more than just a ride.

It's like a club experience. Cool groove.

Don't want it to end.

It's got to be peefect.

Peefect.

It's up here. Turn right.

Give me your wallet. Come on.

Give me your wallet. Come on.

Give you my wallet. For what?

I'll hold it for you in case the people inside search you.

Who's searching? The people inside.

Go in, ask for Felix. He's expecting you.

Felix. What does he look like? I don't know, I never met him.

Who is he?

He's connected to the guys who hired me.

I don't get it.

You destroyed my work-ups. Number four is due.

What'd you think, night's over? Called on account of rain?

Go in there, say you're me. Score the backups.

They'll be on flash drive or CD. How come you don't...

I don't meet people. Anonymity. I protect mine.

You're not going to screw that up. Contract's with their bosses.

These guys don't meet me, or know what I look like.

If I don't pull it off, then...

They will kill you. You got 1 0 minutes.

At 1 0:01, I execute your mother on my way out of town.

Don't pretend indifference. I can't do this.

I can't. Sure you can. Come on. Hey, hey.

If I do this, I'm just going to end up getting people killed.

Out of options. Take comfort in knowing you never had a choice.

How long you been doing this? Why?

Just in case they ask me.

Private sector? Six years. Okay. All right. Six years.

You get benefits? Or, you know, insurance? Pension?

No. No paid sick leave. Quit stalling, get out of the cab.

[Max sighing]

[indistinct chatter, music]

Hold on, man.

Who's this?

Mark the time.

All right, he's clean.

What's up, Holmes?

I'm here to see Felix. He has something for me.

Don't know no Felix.

Tell him...

Say it's Vincent.

I'm Vincent.

[speaks Spanish]

[indistinct, on walkie-talkie]

Copy.

Let him in. Let him in right now.


[door clattering open]

Detective Richard Weidner, LAPD, Major Narcotics Division.

Detective Ray Fanning... OK, how are you? Agent Frank Pedrosa.

Thanks for seeing us. How can I help?

Why do you want to know about our case?

Any unusual activity tonight? Like what?

That relates to a series of murders in Wilshire Central or West Hollywood?

All quiet on the western front.

Various people are asleep. Various people are not.

They come and go in cars, pickups, taxis.

Other than that, we watch air move.

Your interest in our case? We got a situation. Two bodies.

Could be a coincidence, could not be a coincidence.

It doesn't look like one. We got an attorney and his client...

Roof's all beat to shit.

Roof's all beat to shit.

Can you zoom in on this? On what?

On that.

[Fanning] Look at that right there. [Weidner] What is it?

Yeah.

5-queen-4-9-9-7-4.

5Q49974.

[jazzy Latin music plays]


I thought you'd be taller.

So, Vincent...

What are the two names? Ramone Ayala and Clarke.

Ramone Ayala and Clarke were murdered tonight? Both killed?

Clarke for sure. Ramone, I don't know. I got another D.O.A.

Daniel Baker out of South Central, Leimert Park.

That's three.

Three what? Witnesses.

Vincent meets their people in Culiacan or Cartagena.

But he don't meet you. OK.

Now you're here.

Why?

I lost my stuff.

The list.

I want you to listen to me real well.

Special groups put together the list of dedos.

Dedos. Fingers. Informants.

Signal interceptions with voice-recognition software, surveillance.

A very expensive counterintelligence worked up that list.

An important list. Wouldn't you say?

And you lost it?

Yeah. I'm sorry.

Sorry.

Sorry? "Sorry" does not put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Do you believe in Humpty Dumpty? No.

Do you believe in Santa Claus? No.

Nor do l.

Nor do l, but my children do. They are still small.

But do you know who they like even better than Santa Claus? His helper.

Pedro el Negro. Black Peter.

There's an old Mexican tale that tells of how Santa Claus got so busy looking out for the good children, that he had to hire some help to look out for the bad children.

So he hired Pedro.

And Santa Claus gave him a list with all the names of all the bad children.

And Pedro would come every night to check them out.

And the people, the little kids that were misbehaving, that were not saying their prayers, Pedro would leave a little toy donkey on their windows.

A little burro, and he would come back.

If they were still misbehaving, Pedro would take them away and nobody would ever see them again.

Now, if I am being Santa Claus, and you are Pedro, how do you think jolly old Santa Claus would feel if one day Pedro came into his office and said, "l lost the list"?

How fucking furious do you think he will get?

Tell me, Vincent.

Tell me what you think.

[clears throat] What?

I think...

I think you should tell the guy... behind me...

...to put that gun down.

What did you say?

I said you should tell the guy behind me to put his gun away before I take it and beat his bitch ass to death with it.

I picked up a tail.

Federal? I don't know, you tell me.

That's why I tossed the list.

The work-ups, all of that shit.

To protect, in part... your Hermes Faconnable ass.

You think I like coming in here?

But, hey...

...shit happens.

Got to roll with it. Adapt.

Darwin. I Ching.

The fat man, the penthouse guy, the jazz man.

That leaves two.

Can you finish?

In six years...

...when have I not?

[Max, distorted] Say it's Vincent.

I'm Vincent.

[rewinding] Say it's Vincent.

I'm Vincent.

Say it's Vincent.

I'm Vincent.

[Weidner] Vincent? [woman] That's what I'm hearing.

[Max] I'm Vincent.


Your last two.

And by the way, as a token of my appreciation I would like to offer you a discount.

For all my services, 25 percent.

Very generous.

Hell, make it 35.

And by the way...

Daniel said he was sorry.

Interesting.

[mumbles in Spanish]


[crowd chatters, indistinct]

E-mail me his license.

[Fanning] To my cell phone.

No, no, I'll wait.

Is there anybody else in that cab?

[Vincent] Vegas odds would've been against you walking out of there.

Yeah, I'm very impressive.

Sixth Street by Alexandria, a club called Fever. You know it?

Locate our witness, Peter Lim. Get him evacuated and safe.

[Pedrosa] L.A. 1 01 to chase units.

African American, medium build.

The assault team will do the takedown. Do not spook him before.

I want air support to maintain at 1 500 feet.

Thank you.

How long? 1 2 minutes.

According to the cab's dispatch unit, he's been driving that cab for 1 2 years.

So what?

You're telling me the guy walks into a phone booth and changes into a meat-eater super assassin?

What's he do, squeeze them in between fares?

The real driver is floating down a storm drain.

[Fanning] The guy who walked out looks like this.

He picked a driver who looks like him. I don't know.

I do. Zee?

We see private-sector security companies hiring out to cartels in Colombia, Russia, Mexico, hiring ex-Special Forces, Stasi, ex-KGB, like that, all the time.

Guys with trigger time, skill sets, tradecraft, look like a cab driver.

What are you going to do?

Take his ass down. Save our witness.

What if they're wrong?

The guy's admitting his name is Vincent. He's in there talking to the bad guys.

There is something else going on. There's nothing.

I thought there was, there isn't. It's their ball, their game.

There's nothing in it for us. Nothing for you.

It's late, I'm going home. You know what time it is?

[tires screeching]


They locate Peter Lim?

[Zee] The wife thinks he's at Fever. [Pedrosa] Sixth and Alexandria. Move it.

L.A. 1 01 to L.A. 1 03, L.A. 1 05, L.A. 1 08.

Witness is at Fever, Sixth and Alexandria. That's where Vincent is going.

[Pedrosa] Assault team and remaining unit, take Vincent.

First unit on the scene will get the witness out.

L.A. 1 05 to L.A. 1 01. We copy that.


You going to call her? Who?

Your lady friend. The one who gave you her business card.

I don't know. Maybe, maybe not.

What?

Pick up the phone.

Life's short. One day it's gone.

You and I make it out of this alive, you should call her.

That's what I think.

Anyway...


[Pedrosa] There he is. Hit it.


[Pedrosa] Let's do it.

[throbbing club music plays]

[Vincent] The table towards the back is where he hangs.

Wilke, take the right. Brian, hold the door.

Clean shots. Watch your backgrounds.


Move 1 5 feet ahead, three feet left.

Wander, innocent bystanders get the first rounds. Clear?


[grunting] [snapping]

[crunching] [screaming]

[pained groaning]

There's Lim. Second booth from the left. Get him out.

[clubbers chattering]

Middle of the dance floor. Freeze, Vincent!

FBl! FBl! Get your hands in the air! Get your hands in the air, Vincent!

This is the FBl! Hands in the air! FBl. Where's Peter Lim?

[shouting in Korean] Drop it!

[screaming]

Freeze!

I'm not Vincent. FBl!

Yo, put the gun down! You got the wrong...

[screaming]


Pedrosa's been shot. Get an RA unit.

Wait, wait!


Hold on. I'm Detective Fanning.

I'm Max! I'm a goddamn cab driver, man! I'm a goddamn cab driver.

I know. I'm getting you out of here. I'm LAPD. Come on.

[shouting in Korean]


How'd you find me? You're okay. Just move it.

Keep moving.

[Fanning] You're OK, you're OK.

You're OK. You're all right.

[shots, crowd screams] Let's go!

[car alarm sounding]

Let's go.

Go! Drive! Drive!

[metal, glass crunching]

[chopper buzzing]


[sirens]

Only thing didn't show up was the Polish cavalry.

You're alive. I saved you.

Do I get any thanks? No. All you can do is clam up.

You want to talk? Tell me to fuck off?

Fuck off.

You had to kill Fanning?

Who the fuck is Fanning? Fanning, the cop.

Why'd you have to kill him?

He's probably got a family. Kids will grow up without him.

He believed me.

I should've saved him because he believed you.

Not that. Yeah. That.

What's wrong with that?

It's what I do for a living. Some living.

Head downtown. What's downtown?

How are you at math? I was hired for five hits. I did four.

Why didn't you just kill me and get another cab driver?

You're good. We're in this together. Fates intertwined. Cosmic coincidence.

You full of shit. I'm full of shit?

You even bullshitted yourself, if all I am is taking out garbage, killing bad people.

That's what you said. You believe me?

[exasperated sigh]

Then what'd they do? How do I know?

They all got that "witness for the prosecution" look to me.

Probably some major federal indictment of somebody who majorly does not want to get indicted.

So that's the reason?

That's the "why." There's no reason.

There's no good or bad reason to live or to die.

Then what are you?

Indifferent.

Get with it.

Millions of galaxies of hundreds of millions of stars and a speck on one in a blink.

That's us. Lost in space.

The cop, you, me...

Who notices?

What's with you?

As in?

As in if somebody had a gun to your head and said:

"You got to tell me what's going on with this person over here or I'll kill you.

What is driving him? What was he thinking?"

You know, you couldn't do it, could you, because...

...they'd have to kill your ass because you don't know what anyone else is thinking.

I think you're low, my brother. Way low.

Like, what were you? One of those institutionalized raised guys?

Anybody home?

The standard parts that are supposed to be there in people, in you...

...aren't.

And why haven't you killed me yet?

Of all the cabbies in L.A. I get Max: Sigmund Freud meets Dr. Ruth.

Answer the question.

Look in the mirror.

Paper towels, clean cab, limo company someday.

How much you got saved? That ain't none of your business.

Someday? Someday my dream will come?

One night you'll wake up and you'll discover it never happened.

It's all turned around on you. It never will. Suddenly you are old.

Didn't happen. And it never will because you were never going to do it anyway.

You'll push it into memory, then zone out in your Barcalounger, being hypnotized by daytime TV for the rest of your life.

Don't you talk to me about murder.

All it ever took was a down payment on a Lincoln Town Car.

Or that girl. You can't even call that girl.

What the fuck are you still doing driving a cab?

Because I never straightened up and looked at it, you know?

Myself. I should have.

I tried to gamble my way out from under, but that was just a born-to-lose deal.

Slow down. It's got to be perfect.

It's got to be perfect to go. Risk all torqued down.

I could've done it anytime I wanted to.

Red light.

But you know what? New news.

It doesn't matter anyway. What does it matter anyway?

We're all insignificant out here in this big-ass nowhere.

Twilight Zone shit.

Says the badass sociopath in my back seat.

But you know what? That's the one thing I got to thank you for, bro.

Because until now, I never looked at it that way.

What does it matter? It don't, so fuck it. Fix it.

What do we got to lose anyway, right?

Slow down.

Why? You going to pull the trigger and kill us?

Go ahead, shoot my ass. Slow the hell down.

You going to shoot me now? You going to kill us?

Well, shoot my ass then. Shoot me.

Slow down! You're right.

You know what, Vincent?

Go fuck yourself!

[coughing] [car hissing]

Well, that was brilliant.

[Max] Didn't have your seat belt on?

[distant police sirens]

[sirens]

1 L-20, show me code six at Olympic and Figueroa on a TC with injuries.

[radio] Copy your location.

Are you okay? What happened?

Sir, you were involved in an accident.

An ambulance is on its way to help you. You understand what I'm saying?

Sit down and relax, okay?

Okay. Don't worry about the cab. They'll get you a new one.

Relax and breathe.

Put your hands up!

Put your hands up. Face the cab. Get down on your knees!

Arrest me. Hands on your head.

Take me to jail. L.A. County's great.

Don't move! Put your hands behind your head.

[officer] 1 L-20, I need a backup on a 1 87 suspect.

Ah!

[officer] Put the gun down!

Put your hands down! Look, I got to go. [yelling]

Stop moving! Stop moving!

When did this become a negotiation?

Cuff your hands together. Hold your hands together.

Listen, somebody's going to get killed if I don't go right now.

Now, cuff yourself.

I'm going to Sixth and Fig. Call the cops.

Give me that.

Hey, hey! Whoa! Fuck.


[ringing]

[beeping] Shit!

Come on!


Come on. Go through.

Come on. Come on. Pick up. [ringing]

[ringing]

[Max] Pick up.

Come on, girl.

Come on, pick up.

[ringing]

U.S. Attorney's Office. Annie! It's Max.

Max, the cab driver.

Listen to me, all right? A guy named Vincent...

Listen to me, Annie.

It's kind of a strange time to be calling.

Listen. There's a man named Vincent. He's coming to kill you.

He's what? Kill you! He's coming to kill you!

He was scoping out the building when I dropped you off...

If this is supposed to be some type of joke, it's not funny.

It's not a joke. Listen to me, please.

Felix hired him. Okay? Or people that Felix worked for.

Felix Reyes-Torrena. How do you know about my case?

I don't understand.

All I know is he's already killed witnesses. He's coming to kill you.

When I dropped you off, I don't know how, but he ended up in my cab.

[breathing heavily]

[Max] Annie...

Annie, listen. All I want you to do...

[Annie] I don't understand. [Max] Listen. Please listen.


[Max] Get out of the building. Annie.

[Annie] I'm leaving the building now. No, wait.

Max. Wait, wait.

Max. Where are you? What floor?

I'm on the 1 6th floor. I'm in the Law Library and Files.

He's two floors below you, corner office.

In my office?

He does not know you're there. Stay there and call 91 1.

Are you sure he's on the 1 4th floor?

Just stay there and just call the police.

Max.

[beeping] Shit.

Max.

Shit.

[ringing]

Max. He knows you're up there.

I can't hear you. Hello?

Annie. Annie, listen to me.

Annie. Annie.

Shit.


[woman] 91 1. Operator.

There is a man in my building and he is...

[electric fizzling, popping]

[Annie] Hello?


[labored breathing]

[grunting]

[clicking]


[beeping]


[whimpering]

Let her go.

Max?

Why? What are you going to do about it?

[gunshot] [screams]

Come on.

Max!

God. Felix Reyes-Torrena?

Yeah. I met him.

What do you mean, you met him? How?

I don't know. Look, when I dropped you off, there was a fare.

He said his name is Vincent.

Wait, wait, wait. This is the street.

This way. Come on.


[Max] Stay up. Stay up. Stay up.

What we going to do? Wait, wait.


Wait, wait. Wait.


[Max, whispering] Stay down.

[train whistling]


Shit!

There's a station.

[whispers, indistinct]

[bell clanging]

[brakes squeal]


[train whistling]


Max!

I do this for a living!


[heavy breathing]


We're almost...

...at the next stop.

Hey, Max...

A guy gets on the MTA here in L.A. and dies.