Released as drama Reach Me in the US, Collection comes to our shores packaged as an ensemble thriller starring Sylvestor Stallone, Tom Berenger, Thomas Jane and Terry Crews. That’s not a bad line up at all for an action film. But this isn’t it’s a drama called Reach Me that’s been re-named Collection.
Written and director by John Herzfeld who’s previous hits included the Robert DeNiro thriller 15 Minutes and the ensemble 2 Days in the Valley. He has form dealing with a large group of actors and for going at things a bit heavy handed with the old melodrama stick. Collection centres around a mysterious self help book that the whole nation is talking about. People appear on talk shows to extol it’s virtues, journalists want to seek out the mysterious authour, ex-criminals want to meet the author to thank him for helping him, Tom Sizemore wants to kill some people for some reason, Danny Trejo robs a bank, Danny Aiello looks tired in general.
Half way through production the film lost a big chunk of it’s funding so turned to kickstarter Indiegogo to have film fans contribute the rest. Perhaps seeing a teeming with big names also joining the aforementioned are Nelly, Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Connolly, Cary Elwes, Kelsey Grammer and Lauren Cohan. I imagine a great deal of them will want their money back. Collection is simply an odd film. It seems to be aiming for some kind of Robert Altman style story structure. Disparate storyline and characters manage to connect through a improbable story logic and the underlying conceit of the this self help book Reach Me. All kinds of genres are stirred in the pot – melodrama, action thriller, gangster cliches, situational comedy, media satire but all tied in a neat psuedo-psychological bow that try’s to tell the viewer something they didn’t know about themselves.
As you may expect from a cast so rich a lot of people barely get a sniff at the dialogue. Kelsey Grammer appears in one scene to slap Tom Sizemore. Danny Trejo appears to fulfil the quota of bank robber. Sylvestor Stallone crops up to shout at Kevin Connolly a bit – Kevin Connolly incidentally is a very annoying screen presence. Herzfeld has made some intriguing, if over-wrought films before, but Collection feels like it’s made by someone who once watched a made-for-TV movie and thought “oh that might be nice to make a film”. There’s no consistent tone, constant shifts in style that seem ill-fitting with the story line, attempts and insightful humour about the media that are so hackneyed they would have felt dated in Sidney Lumet’s Network.
Tom Berenger manages to come out best. Turning in one of his softer roles, it’s a nice reminder that he is more than the intense, solider routine he fell into post-Platoon. I mean, yeah if you’ve got a hundred minutes to use up and you’ve watched absolutley everything on Netflix, your Sky box, film collection, caught up on your soaps, been out to see all the weeks releases in the cinema you might want to think about watching Collection. I honestly can’t think why you would want to otherwise.
Collection is released on DVD on 9th February 2015 and digital platforms from 2nd February 2015 courtesy of Signature Entertainment.
Below we have interview clips of Thomas Jane and Tom Berenger discussing their roles in the film.