Movie Review: Collide (2016)
“How far would you go for the one you love?”
Director: Eran Creevy
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Anthony Hopkins
Synopsis: In Germany, a young American flees with 5 million Euros belonging to a ruthless drugs dealer.
Like us on FacebookCatch all our reviews on Facebook.
Living in Germany after some vaguely referenced troubles in the States, young Casey Stein (Nicholas Hoult – Mad Max: Fury Road, Equals) needs to find the money to pay for a kidney transplant for his otherwise hot and healthy girlfriend, Juliette (Felicity Jones – The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Rogue One), so he contacts Geran (Ben Kingsley – Ender’s Game, The Jungle Book), the eccentric gangster whom she insisted he stop working for as a condition of their being together. Geran is smarting from a snub from logistics magnate Hagen Kahl (a slumming Anthony Hopkins – Kidnapping Freddy Heineken, Solace), who uses his large fleet of juggernauts to run a lucrative drug smuggling operation, and re-hires Casey to hijack one of the lorries. Needless to say, the heist, which is planned using cigarette lighters and shot glasses as models on a saloon table, goes awry, and Casey finds himself at the mercy of the slightly off-key Hagen Kahl and his vicious goons. But his unlikely escape from their clutches with €5 million of the magnate’s money triggers a chase across Germany’s autobahns as he attempts to evade capture and prevent Hagen Kahl from kidnapping Juliette in order to use her as a bargaining chip.
Despite refusing to take itself seriously, Eran Creevy’s fast-moving thriller keeps a straight face as it follows a plot so far-fetched that the audience has no choice but to simply disengage its brain until the final car is smashed and the last gangster killed. It takes place in this alternative reality in which the police always arrive too late and forget to station men outside the back entrance of a building they’re supposed to have surrounded, and in which a man and his mobile phone can emerge with just a few scratches from the wreck of a car which flipped over four or five times before coming to a rest upside down. It’s stupid and mindless, but undeniably entertaining.
Much of the credit for that is down to the breathless pace, which sees Casey switching cars every five minutes or so as he attempts to elude his pursuers. Each new car is faster, sleeker and sexier than the previous one (which he’s invariably just wrecked), but the blistering pace of the action remains constant throughout. Also contributing to the fun are old-timers Hopkins and Kingsley, both of whom steal the limelight from the film’s bland leads, and who appear to be having a whale of a time as the two crazy old gangsters in the middle of whose feud Casey finds himself. Hopkins doesn’t exactly look comfortable when handling a gun, but has great fun putting LOUD and RANDOM!!! emphasis on words for no reason other than it brings him pleasure and because he’s old and revered enough to do what he wants. Kingsley’s Geran is a far cry from Gandhi – and hardly represents an artistic progression – but is one of those eccentrics one can imagine being a great deal of fun to be around when in a good mood, and provides the film with punch and vigour during many of its off-road scenes.
Collide isn’t a great movie; it has numerous plot holes and no artistic merit, and it will win no meaningful awards. It even has a pair of Brits unsuccessfully pretending to be Americans (which might explain why it’s taken so long to find distribution in the States). But it’s a terrifically entertaining movie that succeeds in its mission to deliver exciting chase scenes at a breathless pace.
(Reviewed 14th January 2016)