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Collide (2016)

Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 5/30/2017

All Ratings out of




Extras: No Extras

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 5/19/2017

Car enthusiasts like to fantasize about driving exotic and expensive cars. Video game designers latched onto this notion years ago, and thus we have game franchises like Need for Speed and Test Drive. In the best entries in these series, players can move from car to car, gaining access to familiar sports cars, as well as vehicles so rare that you have to use a search engine to ensure that they are real. In one of the rare instances in which movies were influenced by video games, we've seen this sort of approach in recent films as well. The Furious series of movies offers a nice mixture of exotic sports cars and faithful American muscle cars. The film Collide combines these notions and really skews towards the video game selection feel.

Casey Stein (Nicholas Hoult) is a low-level drug-dealer at a night-club in Cologne, Germany. He finds himself drawn to bartender Juliette Marne (Felicity Jones), and while she likes Casey, she doesn't approve of his job. So, Casey leaves that world behind and gets a job in a junkyard. Soon, Casey and Juliette are living together and very happy...until Casey learns that Juliette needs a kidney transplant. Casey approaches his former boss, Geran (Ben Kingsley), about a job and is offered the opportunity to steal a truck full of drugs for a huge payday. Casey and his partner, Matthias (Marwan Kenzari), plan the heist quite well, but, of course, things go awry. Soon, Casey finds himself on the run from a powerful drug lord, one who knows about Juliette.

From the outside looking in, sometimes we can't help but wonder how actors pick their roles. When you look at the cast of Collide, one must ask how they found themselves in this movie. Felicity Jones has just come off of starring in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, following her Oscar-nominated performance in A Theory of Everything. When Nicholas Hoult isn't staying busy with the X-Men franchise, he's appearing in Oscar-nominated movies like Mad Max: Fury Road. And as for Oscar winners Ben Kingsley and Anthony Hopkins, one would think that they would want to slow down at some point. (I clearly remember Hopkins "retiring" several years ago.) And yet, something drew these clearly talented individuals to this movie.

Were they given one of the cars when filming was done? That would be one explanation. Perhaps the original script by F. Scott Frazier and Eran Creezy contained some details which didn't make it into the final cut. Because when we analyze Collide, we don't find anything special. The story is very cliched, bringing nothing new to the genre. How many times have we seen the criminal who tries to go straight, only to be drawn back to his bad ways due to a financial crisis? And, of course, the heist goes awry, and the criminal must fight against other bad guys while trying to do the right thing. The movie throws in a twist at the end, but instead of being surprising, it has more of an "Oh, OK..." feel.

The thing that stands out about Collide is the variety of cars here. Once the truck heist falls apart, Casey must use other modes of transportation in order to work his way back to Juliette. OK, that makes sense. But, he sure does have some dumb luck in the way that when he needs a new ride, he just happens to be near a European sports car. What a coincidence! From sedans to sport coupes to convertibles, a high-speed ride is always waiting for Casey. As noted above, this gives us the feel of those video games where the player jumps from car-to-car, but in a movie, it rings very hollow.

When you really drill down into Collide, you find some odd things. Casey and Juliette to find that they are two Americans living in Germany, despite the fact that both are played by British actors. The movie was shot in 2014 (under the title "Autobahn", and the release was then tied-up in various business deals. The only thing that really stands out here is Kingsley's character. Even though he has an unhealthy obsession with cheesy American movies, he still feels someone cliched. Do not race to see this movie.

Collide only increased my distrust of golf balls on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 33 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no noticeable grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look very good and the image is never overly dark or bright. The picture has a very nice amount of depth and the actors are always clearly separate from the backgrounds. The level of detail is notable and the picture is never soft. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.5 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. This is a very muscular track which really revs up during the action scenes. The roar of the cars fuels the subwoofer, and the front and rear channels are filled as the autos pass by. The sounds are often detailed, and clear. The music from the nightclub also drives the bass channels.

The Collide Blu-ray Disc contains no extra features.

Review Copyright 2017 by Mike Long