For the most part, it's easy to be of two minds about Collision: each negative has a positive aspect to it (or vice versa). On one hand, it's follows the low-budget suspense thriller template to a T: it's all about a bunch of characters who are trapped / stranded in a single location, and each one of them has their own secret they're trying to hide from the other characters. On the other hand, Collision is blessed with a talented cast and a decent screenplay that make the film work by downplaying the cliches rather than trying to bleed dramatic blood from tired stones, as if the audience has never seen one of these things before. It's not a great movie, but it's executed as well as one could possibly expect this script, cast, and crew to manage.
For example: one of the crash survivors is a convict, in the middle of transport when the accident occurs. Before anyone is able to climb out of their wrecked cars and get their bearings, this character manages to ditch their handcuffs and present themselves as a free man. All of this is shown in sequence, so the audience knows the character's true identity, but the other characters don't. It's one of the oldest threads in the thriller book, and it would be exhausting for characters to miss evidence scene after scene, but director / writer David Marconi doesn't waste time with "near miss" drama. The point of the backstory isn't to artificially provide tension, but to help explain the character's motivation and attitude.
Unfortunately, Collision builds to an ending that is not only poorly paced, but also morally ugly. With almost 20 minutes to go, the film switches gears, focusing on two different threads playing out in more of a race-against-time format. The main thread involves the Taylor character and the repercussions of plotting to kill Scott. Although Marconi clearly believes he's provided both Taylor and Scott with motivation, the balance is distinctly biased in favor of Scott. It's absolutely true that Taylor is cheating and planned to murder Scott; the accuracy of Taylor's accusation that Scott is stealing can only be inferred, leaving only her complaints that he's controlling (not really a crime, and certainly not one Taylor couldn't have escaped from) and "paranoid" (which, given her plan, is justified). Alexander plays the role as if Taylor should be looked at as smart and even victimized, but there's little evidence she's anything but manipulative and unremorseful. By the time their story is reaching its climax, the balance of sympathy is so out-of-whack that it twists the lens through which Scott's actions are viewed, practically praising some particularly awful events.
Throughout, Grillo, Marie-Josee Croze, and Moussa Maaskri are all compelling in their roles, careful to play the truth about their characters rather than what the audience knows or doesn't know. The stand-out performance, however, is Roschdy Zem as Saleh, the mysterious man who appears, explaining his motorcycle broke down. Although the extended finale is awkward either way, his character gets a chance to shine at the end, when his true intentions are revealed. He plays his character with emotional economy, showing depth when he needs to, and remaining natural otherwise. Without the simple compassion and satisfaction of his character's backstory, Collision's ending would be truly unfortunate.
The Video and Audio
Trailers for Divergent, The Frozen Ground, Empire State, and Escape Plan play before the main menu, and are accessible under the special features menu. An original trailer for Collision is also included.