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(2017) (Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones) (PG-13)

Read Our Full Content Movie Review for Parents

Action: A car thief agrees to one last heist because he needs the money to save his terminally ill girlfriend.
Casey (NICHOLAS HOULT) is a car thief who has fled America, but gotten involved in the same life of crime in Germany. He really wants to go legit, though, and does so when he meets and falls in love with bartender Juliette (FELICITY JONES). Their love seems perfect ... until Juliette collapses one night, and Casey learns she has been dealing with a kidney disease. She has to go on dialysis, with the German healthcare system refusing to pay for a transplant.

Needing at least $200,000 to return to the States and get Juliette the life-saving surgery she needs, Casey decides to hook up again with his old crime boss, Geran (BEN KINGSLEY), and his former partner-in-crime, Matthias (MARWAN KENZARI). Geran agrees to pay them $250,000 each if they steal an 18-wheeler loaded with cocaine-stuffed golf balls belonging to Geran's rival, Hagen Kahl (ANTHONY HOPKINS).

The heist goes wrong. And Casey finds himself in a long-running car chase, foot chase, and gun battle throughout the German countryside to get back to Juliette in Cologne and keep her safe. All the while, he is playing a bigger game with Kahl and Geran to get the necessary funds to save his girlfriend's life.

OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
For films not screened for the reviewing press, we only provide a few paragraphs of critical analysis.

Before my wonderful marriage, before fatherhood, before the mortgage, and the SUV, I was a younger man, living in an apartment, with more disposable income and a much cooler ride. For about six years in my 20s, I drove a 1995 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. If I had my choice of a car, any car, it would have been the 1977 "Smokey and the Bandit"-era Trans Am. But the '95 version was one sweet set of wheels. And it was green. "Polo racing green" the company called it back in the day, if I recall. And when I would come out of a car-chase movie like the new "Collide" back then, I probably drove about 10 to 15 miles per hour too fast on my way back home a smile on my face the whole way.

So, I have a certain fondness for car chase flicks. They really are the quintessential "B movies." The best thing I can say about "Collide" is that it knows what it is. It embraces what it is. And what it is is pure junk food cinema, with car chases galore; a handsome anti-hero surviving a ridiculous amount of crashes and dodging thousands of bullets; a damsel in distress (and a tight blouse); and not one, but two over-the-top villains played by a couple of former Oscar winners who should know better. I enjoyed the heck out of it, even though like a fine Big Mac and fries meal, I know it's totally bad for me.

Nicholas Hoult stars in essentially the Burt Reynolds role. In fact, his character -- a car thief named Casey -- is actually referred to as "Burt Reynolds" by the film's first baddie, Turkish drug dealer Geran (Ben Kingsley, slicing more ham here than Jersey Mike's on a daily basis). Casey agrees to one last heist to raise the money for an operation his terminally ill girlfriend, Juliette (Felicity Jones), needs. This brings him into conflict with the film's second baddie, German drug lord Hagen Kahl (Anthony Hopkins, spreading more cheese than Pizza Hut does on a daily basis). Twice a year, Kahl smuggles into Cologne an immense shipment of golf balls filled with cocaine and smuggles out millions of Euros via a shipment of cars to Chile. Kahl's rival, Geran, commissions Casey and his partner, Matthias (Marwan Kenzari) to steal the 18-wheeler containing the golf balls.

Of course, the whole thing goes wrong, and Casey finds himself in a running car chase, foot chase, and gun battle for his life. Actually, it's a running joke how many times Casey crashes a vehicle only to then obtain a better, faster automobile one scene later and keep on going. He never looks back or pauses, and neither does the movie. You can pick it apart totally on your not-nearly-as-fun drive home. But when the rubber meets the road on screen, it's a brainless, entertaining ride. I give "Collide" a 5 out of 10. (T. Durgin)

Reviewed February 23, 2017 / Posted February 24, 2017

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