“Collateral,” not to be confused with Tom Cruise’s 2004 film “Collateral,” created by playwright David Hare (“The Reader”) starts in a take out pizza parlor, where two delivery boys argue over whose delivery is next.

A pushy white employee tries to grab the job, but the young harried woman manager (Hayley Squires) gives it to his Syrian coworker, Abdullah, (Sam Otto) who delivers on a red motor bike and wears a red helmet.

Abdullah arrives at a posh, four story flat, climbs the stairs and delivers to a snarky blonde woman (Billie Piper) who carries a baby. “Where’s the special toppings?” she growls.

When Abdullah shrugs and leaves, she tosses the pie to the floor, pours a glass of wine and answers the phone. She’ll be back.

When Abdullah hits the front steps, a couple of shots ring out. Before he can snap his helmet on, Abdullah is dead.

Later on, we get to follow the assassin in a series of cuts, tossing a gun off a bridge, changing clothes in a toilet stall, showering, until, on a midnight street, we meet.

Cut to: Series star Carey Mulligan (“The Dig”, “Drive”) as “Kip,” a cool, soft spoken, and clearly pregnant South London detective, arriving on the scene with her partner, DS Nathan. (Nathaniel Martello-White).

While scouring the area, she spots an Asian girl (Kae Alexander) huddling against a fence on the corner. She’s questioned and knows plenty, but provides nothing. She’ll be back.

Things get interesting when Kip, who always sports a cynical squint, interviews Laura, the owner of the pizza, who also avoids direct answers, (always bad) and smells more of guilty involvement than cheese and salami.

Did she shun Mikey, the other delivery boy (Brian Vernel) and pick Abdullah on purpose? Maybe, but there’s so much more to watch, mull over, before we pick the killer, and the suspects are plenty.

We meet other players including Jane, (Nicola Walker) and Jeany Spark as Sandrine Shaw, an icy and mysterious special forces captain and a flock of black coated MI5 agents and a brigade of British officers floating in and out.

“Collateral,” shot in pre-pandemic 2018 in London, spares us the masks, and provides a tingly, multi-layered plot filled with Britain’s best film actors, especially BAFTA winner John Simm as harried cabinet member David Mars.

But it’s Jeany Spark as the cool Brigade Captain Sandrine, who provides the requisite darkness and best surprises.

Good writing, a fun plot and splendid actors.

“Collateral” streams in four parts on Netflix.

J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

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