Collateral (2018)

CollateralCollateral is a BBC four-part crime thriller which has a fine cast and solid production values, but for me it was ruined by the preposterous plot and a political agenda, intended or otherwise, that left me with the same bad taste it did in The Last Jedi. You might well be wondering what Star Wars and a BBC drama set in modern-day London have in common.

I’m all for inclusiveness and giving female actors major roles etc, but sometimes dear old Auntie Beeb tries too hard (it was an element in its recent series Requiem, too, but to a much lesser extent). Collateral throws the following at us: a female priest, who is a lesbian, and in love with an illegal immigrant- that ticks several boxes just by itself. The lead detective is a woman, six-months pregnant, which is immaterial to the plot but just hangs there (career girl, high-flyer, and an imminently brilliant mother too, obviously), she does very little wrong, is famous for having been in a past Olympics, and outwits all her male junior officers, who are generally portrayed as subservient and dumb. Two of the bad guys are men who are foreigners who are very stupid and mess up a murder, leaving traces and get caught by our lead detective. They are in league with an MI5 intelligence operative who is, yes, a man, and yes, a complete utter arsehole.  The ‘clever’ assassin who very nearly gets away with carrying a flawless murder is a woman from the military who is suffering sexual harassment from a superior officer and is actually raped by him. She later reveals this to the superiors wife who throws the bastard out of her home. A male politician running amok in interviews is frustrated and pulled into line by the leader of the Labour party who is (you guessed it) female. I think this message was carried in The Last Jedi– women are smart and intelligent and right, and men are dumb and wrong most of the time.

Throw in some fairly heavy-handed anti-Brexit sentiments/comments/political posturing and I think this drama has covered every liberal agenda we could possibly want and more besides. Funny, I thought it was so supposed to be crime drama. Guess I was wrong.

7 thoughts on “Collateral (2018)

    1. Oh, I’m not going back down THAT rabbit-hole again just yet. Maybe for my blu-ray review in a few weeks- yes, I’ve got it on pre-order and plan a grand viewing session with my brother and maybe a few other Star Wars nerds in which much wailing and shouting will no doubt ensue.It might be monumental. Perhaps I should record it and post a typescript.

      I truly hope a great re-assessment of this film accompanies the disc release. I think most people have sussed out TFA over the months since, just as many people did Abram’s first Star Trek reboot movie. We’ll just have to see. I suppose there is a chance I might watch TLJ and enjoy it, but that’s a bit of a longshot.

      1. Matthew McKinnon

        You hate the film… but you’re buying it?
        That’s an odd choice. That’s like me going out and buying Alien Covenant to reward Ridley Scott for a job badly done.

        I though most people had TFA sussed even back then? In the first week of release, the consensus was ‘it’s fun and slick and the characters are likeable, but it’s not really very good’.

        Whereas with TLJ, it’s a fairly even three-way split between angry fans who didn’t get what they want (and won’t budge on that ever because all Star Wars is ruined for all time); those who enjoyed it (who feel they need to provide a balance to the force and combat the endless Dark Side rantings and ravings); and normal audiences who weren’t really bothered either way and will turn up regardless.

      2. Ian Smith

        I think it’s a case of morbid curiosity really. I’ve done it a few times (buying discs of films I didn’t enjoy, or films I haven’t seen which were reviewed badly, like Transformers films). It’s not as if I’ll ever buy Justice League, for instance, but besides Star Wars being close to my heart anyway, TLJ was such a contentious film I really want to see it again and pore over the details of what, in my mind, went so wrong. I’ll probably end up doing same with Han Solo if I ever bother seeing it at the cinema.

        I think being a movie buff, you’re always likely to watch ‘bad’ films as well as good films if only from the curiosity of what went wrong or how. I know Clover field Paradox is a bit of a stinker by all accounts, but I intend to see it all the same. Besides, all the bad films just makes BR2049 all the more wondrous.

  1. I think it’s a case of morbid curiosity really. I’ve done it a few times (buying discs of films I didn’t enjoy, or films I haven’t seen which were reviewed badly, like (ahem) Transformers films). It’s not as if I’ll ever buy Justice League, for instance, but besides Star Wars being close to my heart anyway, TLJ was such a contentious film I really want to see it again and pore over the details of what, in my mind, went so wrong. I’ll probably end up doing same with Han Solo if I ever bother seeing it at the cinema.

    I think being a movie buff, you’re always likely to watch ‘bad’ films as well as good films if only from the curiosity of what went wrong or how. I know Cloverfield Paradox is a bit of a stinker by all accounts, but I intend to see it all the same. Besides, all the bad films just makes BR2049 all the more wondrous.

    1. Matthew McKinnon

      I tried Cloverfield Paradox the other day. I lasted ten minutes. Even before anything major started happening, the script and performances made it clear this movie was going to be terrible, and life (no pun intended) was too short.

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