"Big Guns and Fancy Cars Collide in Drug Lord Thriller"
What You Need To Know:
n COLLIDE, Hagen Kahl is a suave philanthropist and owner of one of Germany’s largest trucking companies. He also happens to be the country’s biggest drug kingpin. Every six months, one of his trucks makes a secret delivery of cocaine to Cologne. Hagen’s long-time accomplice, Geran, asks for equal partnership in the business, but he’s turned down and insulted. One of Geran’s former employees, a young American, Casey Stein, finds out his girlfriend needs a kidney transplant to survive. So, he returns to his life of crime to get the money. The plan? To steal the money from one of Hagen’s drug shipments.
What seems like a promising thriller in the beginning gets more and more ridiculous. Casey manages to dodge several hundred bullets without being hit once and survives multiple severe car crashes that would kill anyone else. COLLIDE becomes so unrealistic that it’s sometimes laughable. Though the bad guys are held accountable, Casey’s love for Juliette is used to justify his return to crime. COLLIDE contains some alcohol use, implied fornication, violence, and foul language. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
(B, C, FR, Pa, LL, VVV, S, NN, AA, DD, MM) Light moral, redemptive worldview where the bad guys are either killed or go to prison for their crimes, but the main character gets away with a crime and justifies it because he’s getting money to save his sick girlfriend’s life, so some false moral relativism is used to mask this immorality entailing an ends justifies the means mentality; seven obscenities (including one “f” word), four strong profanities, one light profanity, plus bottles of urine shown briefly; many scenes of severe car crashes where some people die, multiple scenes of heavy gunfire where people die, a man is briefly tortured, several scenes show fist fights; a couple scenes imply fornication, man brags about owning prostitutes, an unmarried couple lives together; brief upper female nudity in one shot, some images of scantily clad women, and upper male nudity when man and woman are in their underwear after taking off their cloths; several scenes show alcohol use, plus one scene depicts a slightly drunk woman; no smoking but illegal drug selling is a main part of the plot and there are some references to illegal drugs; and, many cars are stolen, a man justifies his crimes with his love for his girlfriend, man lies to his girlfriend multiple times, revenge is sought by a couple of characters, and protagonist returns to crime to help and support his sick girlfriend instead of searching for a legal way of getting their needs met.
In COLLIDE, Hagen Kahl is a suave philanthropist and owner of one of Germany’s largest trucking companies. Though he has a positive public persona, he is known among law enforcement as the country’s biggest drug kingpin. Every six months, one of his trucks makes a secret delivery of cocaine to Cologne, which Hagen’s partner in crime, Geran, then sells on the street. Geran is a Turkish gangster with a penchant for living in his pajamas, surrounding himself with prostitutes and binging on Hollywood movies. It’s a lifestyle the refined Hagen finds repulsive. So, when Geran asks for equal partnership in the business, Hagen turns Geran down and insults him in the process.
One of Geran’s employees is a young American, Casey Stein, whose primary drug customers are found in a particular Cologne nightclub. One night he spots an American bartender, Juliette, across the room, and falls in love at first sight. He asks her out, but Juliette is onto what he does for a living, so she declines his offer.
However, Juliette gives Casey an ultimatum: Give up his life of crime, and she’ll give him a chance. Casey chooses love over money, and gets a job working in a junk yard. The two move in together, but one day Juliette suffers a seizure. She reveals to Casey she has a life-threatening disease that can only be cured with a kidney transplant. Such a procedure is impossible in Germany, and she needs $200,000 to pay for it if she were to go back to the United States.
Devastated by the news, Casey decides to return to Geran and accept a job that will pay $250,000. If he’s successful, he can save Juliette’s life and secure a future with her. In an act of revenge, Geran gives Casey the task of heisting one of Hagen’s trucks carrying drugs. Casey takes the job against Juliette’s wishes and carefully plans a sophisticated operation that will outsmart Hagen.
The heist proves successful, but Hagen is hot on Casey’s trail. An army of Hagen’s henchmen chase him through the streets of German cities, and there are a series of car chases on the Autobahn. Just when he thinks he’s in the clear, Casey’s worst nightmare comes true when he learns Juliette’s been kidnapped by Hagen, who’s using her as bait.
What seems like a promising thriller in the beginning unfortunately gets more and more ridiculous as the end draws near. The plot makes sense to a certain degree, and, at least, the car chases don’t feel like unnecessary token action scenes. However, things are all too easy for Casey. He manages to dodge several hundred bullets without being hit once, and despite crashing into multiple cars and structures, a stolen BMW comes out looking none the worse for wear. Whenever one car is totaled, a fresh new luxury car is always readily available for Casey to use to continue the chase. The guns get bigger and more dangerous as time passes, culminating in a rain of machine gunfire from several dozen police who decide to throw caution to the wind in a hostage situation. COLLIDE becomes so unrealistic that it sometimes turns laughable.
Though the bad guys are held accountable for their crimes, Casey apparently doesn’t count as a bad guy according to COLLIDE’s filmmakers. They use his love for Juliette as justification for involvement in drug crimes. Perhaps because he rats out Hagen to the police, they feel that’s enough moral justification to satisfy a happy ending. Casey calls his crime a “crazy thing in life” that he’s doing for love. He thinks, if the reason’s love, “maybe it’s not crazy after all.”
[SPOILER ALERT] The police eventually make a plea deal to keep Casey out of prison, but he still gets away with stealing the drug money, which he and Juliette use to start a new life together. Also, at one point, Hagen accuses Geran of not being virtuous enough to be his equal. It’s interesting hearing a criminal lecture another criminal about virtue. COLLIDE also contains some alcohol, implied fornication, intense violence, brief foul language, references to prostitution, and a quick image of sexual nudity. So, all in all, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.