written by McKenzie Murdoch
After We Collided is the second movie installment in The After Series. The After series was originally on Wattpad and was actually a One Direction fanfic written by Anna Todd, but Gallery Publishing Group adapted them into actual books. This book series contains five books and so far two of them have been produced into movies. Beginning with After, which was released in 2019, it stars Tessa Young portrayed by Joespehine Langford and Hardin Scott played by Hero Fiennes Tiffin.
Tessa Young is a freshman in college, with a very protective mother. She is a very good student and never really does anything she is not supposed to. She meets Hardin Scott, the typical bad boy in every book or movie with tattoos and a bad past. They meet at a party her roommate Steph (Khadijha Red Thunder) takes her to and is dared to kiss each other, but Tessa doesn’t go through with it. Tessa and Hardin simply seem to connect instantly and would eventually fall in love, but Tessa’s mother does not approve at all.
Tessa’s mother is a bit controlling when it comes to her daughter and says if she continues to see Hardin she is getting cut off. This really only pushes Tessa and Hardin closer as they soon move in together. Now, all book lovers and movie watchers know that good things don’t seem to last and that’s what happened when Tessa finds out why Hardin seemed so interested in her in the first place. With that new information, that Hardin was really only initially interested in Tessa was because of the deal he made to get her to fall in love with him, Tessa went home and fixed her relationship with her mom and her ex-boyfriend Noah (Dylan Arnold), who she actually cheated on. She knows she has to go back to college, eventually, in spite of being basically betrayed by her boyfriend and all of her friends. Although, despite her fallout with everyone, she actually applies for the internship that would be similar to her dream job. All the meanwhile, Hardin is downfalling because he realizes he does actually love Tessa.
At the end of the movie we are left with Tessa and Hardin sitting on the dock of the lake where they initially started their relationship, but are left with questions about it because they aren’t talking and there is no body language that can give anyone a hint at what is to come. Unless you have read the books, of course.
The second movie starts with the unresolved feelings Tessa has towards Hardin after finding out the bet he made to take her virginity. Being realistic, if someone walked into a relationship with those expectations and solely off of making a bet, even at first, I don’t understand how she let him back into her life after figuring it out. Alas, she did and our favorite toxic relationship is back. No viewer of After can deny that the relationship Hardin and Tessa have is toxic, but everyone seems to enjoy watching them. Although, I think I still liked the second movie better despite the fact that the first After movie had a way better soundtrack.
I will say the second movie was way more funny than the first. There were scenes which may seem a little raunchy, but were still hilarious. Also, I really enjoyed Tessa having some character development and not being such a pushover in this movie. She definitely grew up and grew a backbone.
In this movie we were introduced to some new characters including Trevor played by Dylan Sprouse and Kimberly played by Candice King. I really liked seeing Candice King in something other than The Vampire Diaries and she gave a really good performance. Also, the character she played was a nice refresher. She started out as a good person and was a good friend to Tessa without ulterior motives. Also, she isn’t a college student like the rest of them.
When first being introduced to Trevor, I was very skeptical of him. He is definitely a representation of the opposite of Hardin. Although, I have to admit that my first thought of Trevor and Tessa’s relationship was that it was cute, whether it was a possible relationship or just friendship. By the end of the movie I didn’t really like Trevor. It seemed like he always had ulterior motives. He is smug and thinks he knows everything, which I did not like.
Now regarding a returning character, Molly, played by Inanna Sarkis. Molly seems like the character that is just causing all the problems and is always at the root. I really just hate how she is depicted. She is often seen as jealous and desperate, especially when it comes to Hardin. I feel like Molly has so much potential as a character and I really hope she gets a redeeming arc. I think she has so much wasted potential.
One of my favorite characters, Landon, is Hardin’s step-brother and one of Tessa’s friends. Landon is played by Shane Paul McGhie in both movies, but is rumored to be leaving the After cast and his role will possibly be recast. I wish we actually got to see more of Landon, especially when it comes to his relationships with Hardin and Tessa. It feels like he is more of a side character than a main one and I hope the future movies bring his character more screen time. One of the other characters we don’t get to see much of is Noah, but in the second installment we got to see him a little bit more. Unfortunately, it was all completely ruined due to his relationship with Tessa’s mom. I think there is a fine line between being friends with an ex’s parent and having a cool relationship compared to having a weird relationship, where she treats Noah like her child rather than her actual daughter.
Another character we were introduced to is Hardin’s Mother, Trish Powell, played by Louise Lombard. She is by far my favorite character in the whole movie and I loved it. She is funny, light hearted and brave. She is literally the sweetest person in that whole movie.
Throughout the film, I really saw some changes in a lot of the characters. I liked seeing Hardin try to be good and worthy of Tessa. Like, when it was her birthday and Hardin let her choose what they would do all day. That moment was filled with adorable and funny scenes. I especially loved the scene with Molly and Tessa on New Years, and it is by far my favorite.The ending of After We Collided surprised me. I honestly thought it was going to break my heart, but when the movie ended I was just left confused. A good thought is that the third and fourth books in the series have already been confirmed to be made into movies. Unfortunately, the third and fourth movies will have a different cast for a lot of returning characters. This is shown in the example of Karen, Hardin’s step-mother. On the bright side, Tessa and Hardin should remain the same.