By RILEY PALSHAW
Although it presented a fairly elementary plot, many viewers were invested in the relationship between inexperienced college girl Tessa Young and the school’s rebel Hardin Scott in the 2019 film “After,” all the more reason why I was beyond excited for the recent sequel, “After We Collided,” to come out on platforms like Vudu, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video on Oct 23.
Unfortunately, all of my excitement was diminished as soon as I’d witnessed the first twenty minutes of “After We Collided.” The plot is so astonishingly predictable that it could have been a result of a Wattpad fanfiction–oh wait, that’s probably because it is. I sat in bed reciting each clichéd line after clichéd line with the actors. There is just no originality whatsoever within the script, incredibly disappointing since they could have done so much more with this film.
The directors said, “You want drama? Let’s make this relationship go on and off for the duration of the film. You want romance? Simple, just make them hook up whenever things get boring.” As a fan of the first film, I think I can speak on behalf of all fans when I say this is not what we wanted. We wanted Tessa and Hardin’s relationship to develop and for them to grow stronger. Instead, they are just conflicted the entire time and constantly go from hating each other to loving each other.
Eventually, viewers will reach a point where they can no longer be angry with this romantic drama. They just have to accept it and do what any reasonable person would do: Turn it into humor.
This is a surprisingly easy task since performances by stars Josephine Langford as Tessa and Hero Fiennes Tiffin as Hardin are practically a joke. When they try to portray anger, it looks like a 5-year-old throwing a temper tantrum, and when they try to show happiness it looks as artificial as the smiles on people’s faces in pharmaceutical commercials. It truly is horrific.
Even supporting actress Candice King, known for her role in “The Vampire Diaries,” doesn’t add anything to this production with her role as Kimberly. She shouldn’t have been the star of the film, but one would’ve thought she’d add something given her experience.
The only good thing I can say about “After We Collided” is that it definitely moves the plot along compared to the original movie. So if you are a fan of “After” and want to discover what exactly happens between Tessa and Hardin, I would at the very least give it a go. Worse comes to worst, you end up thoroughly disappointed like me, but will have an abundance of high-quality meme content. And if for some reason horrifically bad movies are your thing, you can always watch the final films of the After series, “After We Fell” and “After Ever Happy,” which have officially gone into production.