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Movie Review

Kidneys. Blech.

Don't get me wrong. They're nice to have. I like 'em so much that I have two. Still, when they go bad, they tend to go really bad. Like Quentin Tarantino-villain bad. And no one wants a Tarantino villain mucking around in their torso.

Alas, Juliette's kidneys have gone full Tarantino. She's known about it for a while. She's seen the signs: the fatigue, the loss of appetite, the half-caught strings of threatening dialogue from her gut that sound vaguely like Christoph Waltz. (Just guessing on the last one.) But she's kept the truth from Casey, the love of her life. No need to bother him with such things. She knows that they don't have the money for a spare kidney, and hers need more fixin' than just a little duct tape.

But when Juliette starts convulsing during a nearly-naked frolic in the snow, Casey knows there's trouble. They go to the doctor and get the bad news: Juliette will have to undergo dialysis and, eventually, need an organ transplant. And though they live in Germany—which supposedly has universal health care—they're told that such care is only universal for Germans, not young, bohemian Americans trying to get away from their parents. Dialysis, fine. Kidneys, sorry. You'll have to bring in your own.

Casey's beside himself—not just because his true love is facing death, but that his true love kept such a secret from him. "Do you know how this makes me feel?!" He asks.

But as much as I'm sure that comforted Juliette, this is no time for soothing conversation. Casey must do something. He'll have to earn the $200,000 or so that Juliette needs to buy a new kidney (hopefully Costco's having a sale) and pay a doctor to plug it in. And he'll have to earn it fast.

If Casey was a Christian movie reviewer, he'd have to review approximately 2,496 films to earn that kind of cash. But Casey did not waste his youth writing Christian movie reviews. Instead, he stole cars and dealt drugs—work experience far more in line with making big money fast.

Casey renews acquaintances with Geran, his old underworld boss, telling him he and his friend, Matthias, would like a job—one that would pay six figures for, say, a night's work. Geran has just the thing: He wants to double-cross his boss—a well-respected businessman who doubles as Germany's biggest drug lord—by stealing a shipment of his cocaine. It'll be easy. Just hijack the truck, knock out the driver and bring the goods back to Geran. They'll all have some coke and a smile.

But Juliette has already made Casey promise not to get back into his old line of work—not even for the best, healthiest, non-Christoph Waltz-sounding kidney in the world.

But hey, there's an easy solution to that, too: just lie to her. It's just like that cynical old novel says: Love means never having to tell the truth.

Positive Elements

Juliette's kidneys may be suspect, but Casey's heart is in the right place: He wants to save her life, and we can't quibble with that.

Spiritual Content

We see an impressive cathedral a couple of times in passing. When evil businessman Hagen Kahl prepares to kill Casey, Casey chuckles, giving Kahl pause. Usually his victims "cry or pray or beg a little." There's a bit of conversation about fate.

Sexual Content

Juliette and Casey's relationship quickly turns sexual. After some initial flirting (which includes a reference to sleeping together), we see them kiss and slowly remove clothing—perhaps during their first date. (It's a suggestive scene, but there's no nudity.) A month later, Juliette suggests the two of them should move in together. ("Cool," Casey says.) They kiss and cuddle.

After one evening of heavy drinking, Juliette and Casey play a game where they both have to take off their underwear and lie out in the snow. The person who jumps up first has to drink "four fingers of Schnapps" and run around the block naked. (Casey agrees, but says he'll keep his underwear on: It's too cold to take it off.) We see both in their skivvies.

Geran is often seen in the company of several scantily clad women—company he presumably pays for. His companions are dressed only in their underwear (including thongs) or, occasionally, silky robes. The crook, who also enjoys horse racing, asks Casey what's the difference between a "hooker and a horse," seemingly as a setup to a joke. Casey says he doesn't know, and Geran claims he doesn't either. (Strangely, he later asks Casey what he'd rather be, a hooker or a horse, as if this confusing joke is now some sort of character shorthand.)

Geran apparently has a family as well, which Kahl asks about when the two meet for lunch. "I spend more time with the horses," he says. "They don't ask for so much." Geran also expresses his appreciation for the body of vintage, 1970s-era picture of Burt Reynolds.

Violent Content

Much of Collide's action takes place in fast, expensive and soon-to-be-crumpled cars. Casey is involved in a particularly jarring high-speed crash along Germany's famed Autobahn, where he flips and rolls seemingly several dozen times and crawls out, unscathed. (Oddly, he enters a dreamlike state during the crash in which he imagines Juliette in the car with him, allowing them to … romantically crash together?) Other cars crash too—into poles, barricades, buildings and each other—sometimes exploding. Vehicles also flip high into the air. One apparently lands on a gun-toting evildoer. Innocent travelers get caught in the mayhem, too, leading (presumably) to a ton of collateral injuries. (And in what surely would be a scandal for quality-conscious German auto manufacturers, not a single airbag is deployed during the entire movie.)

Guns, on the other hand, are remarkably common. Most everyone seems to have one, and these weapons are used with frightening regularity. Police pump a mostly-empty bar (and one attendant villain) full of countless ammo rounds. Innocent hunters trade bloody lead with bad guys. Several cars suffer a great deal of gun-related damage.

Elsewhere, Casey gets beaten by nasty henchmen who, on orders, plan to torture some important information out of the guy. (One takes a pair of nasty-looking scissors to Casey's head, apparently intent on snipping off part or all of his ear.) People get stabbed with broken glasses and skewered with hay hooks. Knives are brandished. Punches are thrown. People struggle and wrestle. Several folks are knocked out. Kahl talks about how his father was a respected-but-brutal interrogator, saying that as a child he came across pictures showing his dad in action. Kahl himself hates torture: He tells Casey that he simply has his henchmen do the torturing, and he returns only when it's time to finish the victim off.

Crude or Profane Language

About five s-word and one incomplete use of the f-word. We also hear a smattering of other profanities, including "a--," "b--tard," "d--n," "h---" and "p-ss." God's name is misused thrice, once with the word "d--n." Jesus' name is also abused.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Casey and a friend, Matthias, used to collect drug money for Geran. His scheme to get Juliette a kidney involves stealing a truck loaded with cocaine. (Rather ironic, considering that cocaine is reportedly terrible for users' kidneys.) Audiences see how the cocaine is hidden (in or as golf balls) and then returned to its powdered state. Geran himself admits to being high most of the time. ("The drugs are strong today," he confesses.)

Casey, Matthias and Juliette all seem to be working at a rave—Casey and Matthias collecting drug money, Juliette bartending. We see the three of them, and plenty of others, with beer and other drinks. (Casey and Juliette are drunk during their skivvy-heavy romp in the snow.) Later, Casey and Matthias hatch a scheme at a bar, using shot glasses as stand-ins for cars and trucks. (Matthias also talks about ordering a tequila-based shot, too). Geran swills yellow-brown liquor. Someone preps champagne in celebration of a big heist.

Other Negative Elements

Collide's central caper is predicated on Casey and his crooked compadre collecting contraband cocaine from a crazy criminal cartel championed by Kahl. This, as you can see, involves a great deal of underhanded skullduggery. And while much of the actual crime is committed against other criminals, that doesn't excuse it. (Plus, Casey does steal from innocent folks, too, extending sometimes to their cars.) Our protagonists lie to and mislead each other, as well.

Conclusion

"This just in. An American man tore through the heart of picturesque Germany today. The man, also wanted in the United States for car theft, stole at least two automobiles and was involved in several severe crashes while fleeing unknown pursuers. Dozens of bystanders are now being treated at local hospitals, some in critical condition. The man also allegedly assaulted several people during his chaotic rampage, and is thought to be carrying about $5 million in drug money.

"Authorities recommend just letting the matter slide, however. The man allegedly did it all for love."

If there is a moral to be found in Collide, that would be it.

Collide is really a mess of a movie—as jarring and nonsensical as any of the many, many crashes we see in it. It's abysmal from a message standpoint. Its superficial content, while not straying from the realm of its PG-13 rating, ain't so hot, either. But even setting aside those issues, the film is incredibly, almost unbelievably lame.

Collide was reportedly made for about $30 million. If the budget was one-tenth of that—something that would force the filmmakers to use hokey miniatures instead of real cars and family dentists instead of likeable young actors and Oscar-winning legends (Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley both play bad guys here), this movie might've been really, horribly, awfully, terribly special.

As it is, it's just bad.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults

Credits

Rating

PG-13

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Nicholas Hoult as Casey Stein; Felicity Jones as Juliette Marne; Anthony Hopkins as Hagen Kahl; Ben Kingsley as Geran; Marwan Kenzar as Matthias

Director

Eran Creevy ( )

Distributor

Open Road

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

February 24, 2017

On Video

May 30, 2017

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Paul Asay

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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