There are certain directors that are connoisseurs of the art form, and none more so than today's director... Roger Kumble. He first burst onto the scene in the generation-defining 'Cruel Intentions' (2000 MTV Movie Awards' Best Kiss) before he told us we were too big to fit in there 'The Sweetest Thing'. Like all great directors, he then switched genres and continued to provide us with iconic content. In 2008, he took as upon the Double Dutch Bus in 'College Road Trip' (2008 Teen Choice Award Nominee) before going Insane in the Membrane with 'Furry Vengeance' (2010 Razzie Shortlist). These works proved too powerful for the world, so Kumble had to take a nine-year break before returning with the Netflix rom-com, 'Falling Inn Love', and now a year later he makes a return to the big screen with the sequel to E! People's Choice Awards Drama Movie of 2019, 'After We Collided'.
Tess (Josephine Langford, Teen Choice Drama Movie Actress of 2019) and Hardin (Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Teen Choice Drama Movie Actor of 2019) have been apart for some time since the events of 'After' - a week, a month, ten years... who knows. Tessa is starting an internship with a publishing company, one Hardin used to work for, where she meets Trevor (Dylan Sprouse, Kids Choice Favourite Television Actor 2009, 2010 and 2011), and the two become friends. After a drunken night, Tessa calls Hardin and he comes back into her life, and the two immediately get back into it. But with Tessa's new job, will Hardin be able to let go of his past and move forward - or will his baggage weigh her down?
SWITCH: 'AFTER WE COLLIDED' TRAILER
This is an "improvement" over the first film; it leans into the camp more and doesn't take itself as seriously. That's not saying this is a good film - it's quite awful - but if you're looking for a bad movie night, 'After We Collided' is a great choice.
Similar to 'Fifty Shades Darker', this movie has the same plot - from her working for a publishing company, to his past coming back to haunt him, and even the shower sex scene, more than the first one this does feel like a desensitised 'Fifty Shades'. Oddly enough, this movie has F-bombs left, right and centre, which considering America's classification rules seems strange, but maybe the Australian version is the uncensored one.
The first film has a lot of problematic moments and this movie gets away with most of them, but we get as scene in which Tessa slut-shames, literally calling the villain from the first film a whore over and over. We are meant to feel like this is a victorious moment, but it's just an extremely problematic message to send to your teenage audience, especially since this is a sex-positive film.
The sequel adds a few new characters, but none more noteworthy than Trevor, played by Dylan Sprouse. He is extremely aware of what kind of movie this is and is just having fun; a lot of laughs came from him and made the film quite a lot more enjoyable.
This is the second in a four-film franchise, and in knowing that we know that not everything is going to be wrapped up and the film will inevitably end with some kind of cliffhanger. The film poses many good moments to end on - car crashes, fights, and they even hint at a possible pregnancy with Hardin forgetting condoms a many time - but the one they settle on is dumb and had very little setup for us to care about.
The film doesn't have a plot. Nothing really happens, and any tension is immediately resolved. I have no clue how there are two more of these. Even the one that we are going in on - will Hardin and Tessa get back together - is gone in the first scene when they meet each other.
The film also doesn't have a plot. Nothing really happens, and any tension is immediately resolved. I have no clue how there are two more of these. Even the one that we are going in on - will Hardin and Tessa get back together - is gone in the first scene when they meet each other. There are no stakes, but strangely I never found the film to drag; there was always something silly happening that kept me laughing or groaning.
There were just some poor choices, like the shower head falling down during the sex scene, yet water is still falling on them as if the shower head is still there. When Hardin and his dad start to get into a fight at a party, they move to another room for privacy but everyone at the party just follows them. After Hardin and Tessa have another fight, when he turns he's above her and she, in slow motion, drops a wine glass that shutters everywhere to romantic music. A score change and this easily works to make him look like a stalker.
I've sat through much more painful slogs, but 'After we Collided' gave me two hours of insane plot - and while I forgot everything as soon as I left, I'll be back over the next couple of years just to enjoy my cheesy mess in this strange unnecessary franchise.
Look at all the awards listed in this review and you'll know what kind of demographic the film is going for. 'After We Collided' isn't looking to be a critical darling, it knows its market and goes for it. It's a hot mess of a film, and I could sit here and pick it apart for its terrible script, bad acting and poor cinematography - but that's pointless because it's hot trash and that's all it needs to be, something to take your mind off the world, laugh at how dumb it is and forget about the franchise until the next one.
Sufjan Stevens has a song in this film, and I hope he got a good pay check because he deserves much better.