film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Collide 2022 * * * Stars


2022's Collide is a compact little thriller with dark hues and fiery red cinematography. It's one of those fine dining restaurant flicks and well, I liked it better than The Menu. Sure it's a little coincidental, sure the timelines are off, and sure, there's the occasional overacting involved. But Collide has a brutish sense of urgency and it's fiendish to the nth degree. Swallowed LA can be that way sometimes.

Collide is a movie about interconnecting (and "colliding") stories. And it's slickster Steven Soderbergh to boot (just watch the riffing). The camerawork full of zooms, close-ups, and jittery motions looked obvious but I got past it. The point here was to wait in bated breath as things came to a head. A bomb under a table, a drug deal gone afoul, a restaurant manager skimming the till, a rattled husband contemplating suicide. Bon appetit my fellow audience member!

Clocking in at 90 minutes and directed by a dude I've never heard of before (Mukunda Michael Dewil), Collide is about 6 or so strangers whose lives connect badly over a night in a Los Angeles eatery. The actors involved (Ryan Phillippe, Jim Gaffigan, Kat Graham) dig deep and they profoundly show their dark side (come on guys, everyone's got one). The film uses sparse set locations and the whole thing feels like a ticking time clock to parlous inevitability. Like in The Menu (mentioned earlier), every immoral denizen is pretty much destined to die.

Now does Collide set the world on fire with its premise of wounded souls "crashing" into each other? I guess but it's more stylish and swift than anything else. And does helmer Dewil excel at connecting the dots through continuity and the baseness that men (and women) do? Not really but he keeps you riveted and on edge anyway. "Meet head on".  

Written by Jesse Burleson

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