Rated PG-13, 96 minutes
When a movie sits on the shelf for nearly 3 years, that's never a good sign, generally due to financial problems of its studio. The thing is, it rarely ever helps improve the quality of the film, which the case with the sluggish, vacuous new action thriller "Collide," which has set on the shelf for three years because of the bankruptcy of its studio, Relativity. A bunch of flashy cars and a terrific cast can't help the uninvolving, stale storytelling.
After a heist goes terribly wrong, Casey Stein (Nicholas Hoult) finds himself on the run from a ruthless gang headed by mob boss Hagen (Anthony Hopkins). Now Casey has precious cargo that belongs to Hagen, who will stop at nothing to retrieve it. Left with no choice, Casey calls his former employer and drug smuggler Geran (Ben Kingsley) to protect his long-time girlfriend Juliette (Felicity Jones) before Hagen gets his hands on her. Casey sets out on an adrenaline-fueled car chase on the German highways to save the love of his life before it's too late.
Directed and co-written by Eran Creevy ("Welcome to the Punch"), "Collide" is a forgettable "Fast and Furious" ripoff that wastes a talented cast, including two Oscar-winners and replaces them with lots of expensive cars and predictable chases across Germany. The film is a mindless, energetic escape that flies by faster than the cars racing on the Autobahn; those scenes are handled with flash by director Creevy, but it's everything in between that's the real problem.
Hoult and Oscar-nominee Jones of "The Theory of Everything" are a blandly appealing pairing, but it becomes questionable when two Brits are cast as Americans in Europe, namely when both of their accents tend to slip through, something a director more skilled than Creevy would've been able to accomplish. Oscar-winner Kingsley doesn't help things much as a European drug smuggler, in ridiculous sunglasses and awful accent; the most memorable of the lot is Hopkins as the odd gangster who wears bright suits and speaks in a stilted, college lit professor-like manner.
Worst of all, Creevy gives away much of the plot in the first 15 minutes, it's unfortunate you have to sit through the rest of it to get its sluggish, predictable climax. "Fast and Furious" does this thing much better, but it gets by (barely) due to its charm and fun cast, but "Collide" misses the mark by much more, crashing and burning early in the film. If you're really into cars and need some energy, I'd recommend taking a drive instead of spending your money on this roadkill.