In Collateral, Tom Cruise plays Vincent, an enigmatic assassin who has several stops to make during a single night in Los Angeles.
The film is a slow burn punctuated by several intense action sequences. Vincent receives a package — from Jason Statham, of all people — containing his weaponry, information on targets, and more.
Vincent’s primary firearm of choice is the Heckler and Koch USP 45.
The Universal Service Pistol
The road to the USP is long and starts with the Mk 23 — an offensive handgun developed for SOCOM.
While the pistol chosen for SOCOM would be the Mk 23, the USP was effectively already developed.
This pistol proved to be an extremely capable handgun — reliable and exceptionally durable in the harshest conditions possible.
I can certainly see why a highly trained assassin would want such a well-made gun.
Vincent’s life and his pay rely on the weapon, and thus he rightly wants the very best. Plus, the weapon pioneered the mechanical recoil reduction system via a dual recoil spring design.
This heavy spring design has become quite common with modern handguns.
The recoil spring doesn’t just make the gun more comfortable, it also allows the gun to withstand tens of thousands of rounds without issue.
Vincent conceals his weapon in his jacket despite the USP 45 not being a tiny gun. This beefy pistol features a 4.41-inch barrel with an overall length of 7.87 inches. On top of that, it weighs close to 2 pounds unloaded.
It’s not designed for concealed carry but rather for duty and service.
With Vincent’s character’s elite level of military training, it’s easy to see why he’d choose this weapon. The chambering also fits his character.
A man like Vincent probably used the .45 ACP a ton as a solider and later special op bubba. It’s both a weapon and caliber he’d appreciate and be accustomed to.
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Vincent wields the USP 45 exceptionally well. It shows that Cruise trained a lot to build confidence in his pistol handling skills.
Some behind-the-scenes show Cruise being trained extensively by a former SAS commando and LAPD SWAT cop.
He also trained with live ammo at the LA Sheriff’s Department range, honing his skills…and it shows. Vincent wields the USP and other firearms quite well throughout the film.
He uses the USP .45 to conduct a box drill against two thugs in an alley who stole his briefcase.
Cruise famously shot the scene over and over to fire five shots in 1.6 seconds. He ended up finishing the drill in 1.39 seconds.
He defeats a cover garment, draws, fires from close retention, transitions to a standard shooting position, and more with a ton of skill.
Vincent also operates his weapons well in the nightclub shootout. He roles with the punches and fires from the ground, even working through a failure to stop.
One of the most fascinating scenes is near the end when Vincent — who’s been shot several times — empties his firearm and, out of instinct, reaches for a reload that isn’t there.
Like most Michael Mann movies, Collateral takes guns to an enthusiastic level of excellence. The USP .45 is an excellent firearm for a professional, highly skilled assassin.
This neo-noir flick is a great watch anytime you want to see well-rehearsed action, greeting acting, and a slow burn of a plot punctuated by gunfights.
This is part of a weekly series on Pew Pew Tactical dedicated to the guns of TV and film. If you’d like more of this content, drop us a comment below. In the meantime, check out last week’s pop culture dive with “Miami Vice” & the Bren Ten.