A Film and TV Review by Tim Riley

COLLIDE (Rated PG-13) Besides death and taxes, one thing is certain in life.  A Jason Statham action film is not going to get nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award.  But action fans, for the most part, love his high-energy cinematic adventures regardless. This won’t be true for every film that seeks to emulate the Statham style of high-octane car chase scenes.  “Collide” makes an effort but falls short in this regard with high-speed pursuits on Germany’s famed Autobahn. Despite a talented cast that is unable to save a film from its own self-destructive manner, “Collide” has the unfortunate feel of an inferior exercise to duplicate Statham’s success in the “Transporter” franchise. Nicholas Hoult’s Casey is an American ex-pat working in Cologne for flashy mobster Geran (Ben Kingsley), who speaks with a terrible Turkish accent that he inexplicably loses during the unfolding action while living it up with hookers and cocaine.

 When Casey meets pretty fellow American Juliette (Felicity Jones) in a nightclub, he decides to turn legitimate at menial jobs just so they can have a happy, normal life even if they have to struggle financially. But when Juliette discovers that she needs an expensive kidney transplant, Casey returns to Geran for a major heist job to score the money needed for medical treatments. Geran has in mind the daring theft of his chief rival’s shipment of cocaine hidden in golf balls.  The contraband load belongs to industrialist Hagen Kahl (Anthony Hopkins), who is equally adept as Kingsley in delivering high-camp theatrics.

 The idea of robbing Kahl only comes to surface after Geran’s plea for a partnership has been rudely dismissed by his rival’s haughty sense of superiority.  The volatile Geran decides that the best revenge is to hit Kahl in the pocketbook. What happens for the next hour is that Casey and his sidekick Matthias (Marwan Kenzari) hijack a truck in an elaborate scheme, soon followed by Kahl’s heavily-armed goons descending on Casey’s trail in a furious chase.The stakes are raised considerably when Kahl kidnaps Juliette, resulting in Casey having to use more smarts than he appears to possess to maneuver his adversaries into a more tenuous position.

 Aside from Kahl and Geran facing off in a comical showdown in a tavern, the hour-long climactic action of “Collide” is all about the chase scenes with expensive and exotic German cars involved in demolition derby-style destruction.