movie film review | chris tookey

Collateral (TV)

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  Collateral (TV) Review
Tookey's Rating
1 /10
Average Rating
5.00 /10
Carey Mulligan, John Simm, Hayley Squires
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Directed by: S.J. Clarkson
Written by: David Hare

Released: 2017
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: UK
Length: 0

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This being a David Hare product, all this investigation stuff is mere camouflage for the author’s more “profound” messages (we think here of his laboriously didactic Worricker spy trilogy, also hamstrung by Hare’s “tell, don’t show” approach). In Collateral, If they were taking the cop business seriously they’d never have cast Mulligan, because she goes about her work with a patronising, disdainful air, as if she really ought to be chairing meetings at some multinational quango rather than poking around crime scenes in the middle of the night.
(Adam Sweeting, The Arts Desk)
David Hare’s dialogue is almost too helpful, as people tell Mars things he already knows. “I’m sure you’re too busy . . . for the mother of your child,” Karen sneers. “You signed her application for a student visa,” a lesbian vicar reminds him of her drug-addicted lover.
(Suzi Feay, Financial Times)
Hare made his name, of course, writing big state-of-the-nation dramas for the stage, and he’s clearly attempting to pull off something similar. I’m sorry to say that he fails badly here... Hare wants to give the impression of complexity, but in truth it all feels rather effortful, with the big issue stuff unsubtly mashed together with the murder story. The best TV crime thrillers put maximum effort into making the police investigations feel real – Mindhunter and Line of Duty are great examples from last year. Hare seems instead to be channelling The Bill, with the investigation handled in perfunctory terms. Carey Mulligan’s woeful miscasting as the lead detective doesn’t help matters either – she’s the least convincing crime fighter since Bananaman.
(Catholic Herald)
Screenwriter David Hare is so eager to treat us to his worthy sociopolitical insights on immigration, the gig economy, xenophobia and suchlike that he skimps on the basics. Plot, dialogue, structure, background research, character, dramatic tension, plausibility and verisimilitude, for example. If this tripe is worth watching for any reason at all, it’s for the insights it offers into the unbearable torturedness of being an artsy-fartsy metropolitan liberal type in Brexit Britain. In fact, it should have been called simply Being Sir David Hare, for that’s all it is: a rehearsal of bien-pensant prejudices shoehorned, with all the subtlety of a medieval morality play, into a half-hearted stab at a detective yarn, turd-polished by a decent budget, some nervy, frenetic camerawork, and an all-star cast led by Carey Mulligan... How on earth did such a feeble, meandering script attract a cast in the league of Carey Mulligan, John Simm, Nicola Walker, Billie Piper and Ben Miles? Possibly, it was just the Hare cachet. Probably, though, it was because the right-on politics simply blinded them to its flaws. Same goes for the commissioning editors. Same, probably, for everyone who ever made Hare’s career happen. Was he ever really any good, does anyone know? Or is he the dramatic equivalent of the kind of artists who flourished under Stalin: second-raters with only one real talent — the ability to toe the party line.
(James Delingpole, Spectator)
There can be few four-word phrases that inspire more heart-sink, more abject misery, more teeth-grinding, table-sobbing despair, than “written by David Hare”. No, no, wait, here’s another one: he’s produced a “state of the nation” thriller. Please God, don’t let the people’s playwright produce a state-of-the-nation thriller! Not again! I’ve barely come round from the meandering, coma-inducing state-of-the-nation spy drama he did a few years ago. To paraphrase Mrs Thatcher, anything that has to tell people it’s “state of the nation” really isn’t.
(Camilla Long, Sunday Times)
Driven by Hare’s eminently sincere thoughts on illegal immigration and the way we treat vulnerable asylum seekers, Collateral is a sombre state-of-the-nation address disguised as a thriller. It’s sometimes rather earnest and clunky. You’d think that after all these years, Hare would’ve learned how to deliver exposition more smoothly.
(Paul Whitelaw, The Courier)
Hare had gone to such lengths to avoid cliches in creating the character of DI Kip Glaspie (Carey Mulligan) that he ended up with someone scarcely believable. That the lead detective in the case of a murdered pizza delivery guy was awfully posh one could just about swallow. But an ex-champion pole vaulter? Why not go the whole hog and put her on roller skates? John Simm was similarly miscast as a painfully right-on Labour MP. “Look,” he said to a lover wisely dumping him, “if the Labour Party makes you angry, what do you think it does to me?” If it makes you say lines like that mate, I’d get out quick.
(Alison Rowat, Sunday Herald)
Most of the first episode is spent explaining the web of connections between the victim, his family, a witness to the murder and the last woman who spoke to him. So much for impersonal London where a sense of community doesn't exist. In Collateral everybody is connected as if in a village in Tyrone.
(Billy Foley, Irish News)
Supremely didactic, telling us what to think, when to think, and how to think it, particularly on the subjects of paperless immigrants, removal centres and so on. Plus, the pace is dreary.
(Deborah Ross, Mail on Sunday)

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