Starring: Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Dylan Sprouse
Director: Roger Kumble
Running Time: 107 mins
After We Collided is an American film and the sequel to After. Following their tumultuous first romance, Tessa and Hardin find themselves separated, only to reconnect once again when Hardin tries to become a better person for Tessa.
Eternally better than its infuriating predecessor, After We Collided manages to get its characters in shape with a slightly more mature story, even if it does get distracted every ten minutes for a random sex scene. It’s a mixed bag overall; the performances and directing are more polished, but the dialogue is still iffy, and on occasion laughable.
For the most part, you’re really going to struggle to love After We Collided if you didn’t love the first movie, but there are a few more positives to take from it. While After was infuriating for its moody and overly serious atmosphere, this sequel manages to bring that serious style into play a little more with a more mature story.
Gone are the boring themes of teen angst and disappointing attempts at real coming-of-age drama, and in is a story that’s a little more intimate and character-focused, as we see former bad boy Hardin humbled as he tries to better himself, and Tessa begin to see real success in her personal life.
For the most part, that story is fairly simplistic throughout, but it at least tries to get its main characters to move on from their idiotic behaviour in the last movie to being a bit more level-headed. And that plays in nicely to a film that’s a fair sight calmer than its immediate predecessor.
Meanwhile, After We Collided seems to distance itself from the first film’s emulation of Fifty Shades Of Grey, shifting the balance in Tessa and Hardin’s relationship in a slightly more interesting and believable way than the Fifty Shades sequels did.
Couple that with performances from Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and especially Dylan Sprouse that are a whole lot more appealing than the first film, as well as a more polished cinematic style thanks to director Roger Kumble, and you have a film that’s a whole lot more watchable than the last one.
However, the biggest issue with After We Collided is that, for all its improvements, it still can’t seem to get away from random, drawn-out sex scenes that add nothing to the story. With the exception of Tessa and Hardin’s first encounter here, every one of these sequences is abrupt, melodramatic and painfully dull.
There isn’t the emotional intensity in the film’s story to make those scenes particularly fiery, and the fact that they’re all basically the same, go on for ages and do little to advance the story is really frustrating to see.
After We Collided is a far more mature movie than its predecessor, but the procession of jarring sex scenes keeps undermining every improvement it has made. It could be more interesting, but the film does little to really dive deep into its emotional core, which is a real shame to see.
For the most part, this sequel is a solid improvement on the first movie, and there’s a lot to like about it. But in general, it’s still a weak romantic drama, and far from the film that will really grab you from start to finish. So, that’s why I’m giving After We Collided a 6.5 overall.