When deciding what films to review, it’s sometimes hard to gage what I think people will respond to. On one hand, there are obvious blockbusters like Logan, Get Out and the upcoming Kong: Skull Island that are already on peoples minds; at the same time, when bad films come out, a critic should watch and inform people on why they should avoid them. But sometimes you get a film like Collide, a generic and downright lazy action film that bombed at the box office this past weekend. I know no one has seen this film, and I know no one will go see this film, but if there was even a chance that someone was interested in seeing Collide, allow me to sum up this movie for you: it sucks.
Everything about Collide is unlikable, in a story where our protagonists are the worst kind of young idiots who are in love. This idea of “anything you do is okay, if you do it for love” is constantly thrown at the audience as almost an excuse for all the mistakes and people our character hurts along his journey to steal money for his girlfriend, and it never works. Throughout the film, Casey (Nicholas Hoult) gets into car chases that run into innocent crowds of people, is responsible for several people getting killed who had nothing to do with the gang he stole from, and rationalizes his criminal activities with the logic that “if i’m doing this for my girlfriend, its not that big of a deal.” Considering the film spends so much time trying to get you to empathize with Casey, the constant disregard for anyone around him makes him come off as less of a romantic hero, and more of a sociopathic douche.
As for the aforementioned romance, none of the supposed feelings our characters share are displayed on screen, with most of the characters moments of growth coming through music-heavy montages. We never understand why Casey quits his job to be with Juliette (Felicity Jones), and most of the time the two spend together sees them arguing with one another. Casey goes through hell to try and pay for Juliettes medical treatments, yet she always acts ungrateful and downright made at him for it. What’s worse is that the two characters don’t ever talk about what they are feeling, residing to giving one another the silent treatment, and prolonging the film even further. If the movies characters aren’t invested in the relationship that stands as the motivation behind all the films actions, then why should we be?
It hurts even more to see veteran actors like Ben Kingsley and Anthony Hopkins show up in this, knowing they’re above this subpar material. Kingsley overacts his way through a bad cockney accent, spouting off so exposition, that it feels like he’s reading straight off cue cards. Hopkins, meanwhile, sleepwalks through his monologue-reciting villain archetype that he’s done better in projects like Westworld and the Hannibal films, often appearing bored and uninterested in the events of the film. Admittedly, bad dialogue can drag down any performance, but its not a stretch to believe that Hopkins and Kingsley could breathe more life into their scenes if they tried harder.
Chief among Collide‘s problems is the general feeling of being outdated, both in style and substance. The film employs camera angles, musical choices and plot details more common in lesser 90’s action films, and that modern cinema has long since moved past. Things like car chases, shootouts and young action stars were enough to propel things like the original Transporter films, but that was 15 years ago, and even then those films felt dated. Likewise, there are constant outdated references throughout to things that have no relation to the films immediate plot, such as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone and the musical Grease, further obscuring just who exactly this film was made for. The film is already boring, and these attempts to feel current only distract in as much as feeling out of place in an already lackluster film.
Collide is the kind of boring, bad film that becomes harder to write about the further I go, because there is just so little to say. It’s not bad in the way Suicide Squad or BVS are bad, where theres a substantial discussion to be had on what it gets wrong, or why certain decisions might have been made. It’s not even bad in the way London has Fallen or Gods of Egypt are bad, where theres something legitimately bad or harmful in it that should be addressed and called out on. Collide is just a bad film with nothing to say about it, even when looking at its laziest elements, and in many ways thats even worse.
Arbitrary Numerical Rating: 2 Cars Going Nowhere out of 10