Collide (2016)

(On Cable TV, October 2017) The real collisions in Collide are the mismatch between the film’s cast and the pedestrian script … or the way it comes alive during its action sequences, only to wallow in far less exciting clichés once the guns and the cars quiet down. In many ways, few things distinguish Collide from countless other mid-budget action movies that clutter up the VOD release calendar: the script is a collection of familiar plot elements arranged in excessive thriller melodrama, featuring literary allusions that never add up to something like subtext or depth. It takes place in Europe, for lower shooting budgets, foreign financing partners and slightly exotic atmosphere … not to mention the bonus xenophobia considering that the two protagonists are American expats. What sets Collide apart are the presence of living legends Ben Kingsley and Anthony Hopkins as duelling crime lords—money is obviously the answer as to what they’re doing here, which doesn’t make the end result less intriguing to watch. Hopkins is on autopilot while spouting classical literature references as an upper-class crime lord, while Kingsley is also in familiar-persona mode (viz; Lucky Number Slevin, Sexy Beast, even Iron Man 3) as a crude trash-talking nouveau-riche kingpin. Seeing them face off is sort of interesting despite the lacklustre film around them, including generic leads played by Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones. Fortunately, another highlight comes whenever the action starts and the cars start racing each other on the autobahn. Director Eran Creevy seems far more interested in fast mayhem and Collide has at least a modest charge for action junkies. It’s also a modest step up from his previous Welcome to the Punch, although there is still a long way to go. Collide doesn’t really escape the limitations of the mid-budget action thriller, but anyone who risks a viewing should find one or two things to break the tedium.

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