Collision (2022) summary and ending explained

Netflix’s Collision is a thriller drama that follows a mother and father rushing to save their daughter’s life. Kidnapped by a local gangster, the girl has little time before she becomes a part of a human trafficking network.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Collision is set in Johannesburg and intertwines the lives of a corporate employee, a gangster, a group of youngsters and a local shopkeeper. The film shows the persistent layers of racism, class divide and corruption that run rampant within the country. It opens with a road accident and a girl screaming from the trunk of one of the cars.

Two days before this incident, we are introduced to Johan Greser (Langley Kirkwood), a former military man who works as Head of Security for a large corporation. He is due for a promotion to become the new CFO and rehearses his presentation.

Meanwhile, his rebellious teenaged daughter Nicki (Zoey Sneedon) has an argument with her mom Diane (Tessa Jubber) about packing for her month long trip to LA — something she is not interested in at all.

Then enters Bra Sol (Vuyo Dabula), the local gangster who owns a night club and also has a lot of illegal projects going strong owing to regular bribes to bureaucrats and politicians.

He finds himself in a fix when the Mayor of the city demands 500,000 South African rand in exchange for moving a huge package of his. He threatens to shut down Bra Sol’s school construction project should he fail to provide the money.

Bra Sol pays a visit to Johan about some business hinting that the latter has been involved with the gangster for the sake of his company. He then goes on to visit a local store owned by Mr. Dinoko and her daughter Palesa (Samke Makhoba), collecting money from them.

Dinoko is frustrated by Nigerian and Zimbabwean immigrants who have made it difficult for the local South Africans to earn a decent livelihood by taking up their jobs and selling cheaper goods from abroad. Palesa, on the other hand does not share his feelings.

Two more important characters who are introduced are Cecil (Siphesihle Vazi) and Thando (Mpho Sebeng). The former is an aspiring musician whereas Thando believes in doing small time tasks for gangsters and making a quick buck. He is well acquainted with Bra Sol.

Later, Diane drops off Nicki near her school but she skips and goes to see Cecil who is revealed to be her boyfriend. Meanwhile, Johan does not get a promotion as his boss and sister-in-law Sunette reveals that the board wanted their recommended candidate — who is a more experienced black lady — for diversity purposes and better numbers.

As the day passes, Diane gets a call from Nicki’s school revealing that she hasn’t shown up and this is the third time this week that she’s been absent. Diane makes up an excuse and leaves Nicki a voice message to call her back.

Nicki spends the day with Cecil and Thando, smoking weed and clubbing. She expresses her hatred towards her parents and her unwillingness to leave for LA. Cecil however encourages her to go, stating it to be an amazing opportunity.

At his club, Bra Sol notices Cecil perform and offers him a job. He also inspects Nicki and talks to Thando secretly about convincing her to work at the club. Meanwhile, a dejected Johan does not show up for dinner with Diane and Sunette as he is embarrassed for not getting a promotion.

Later, when he does arrive, the couple have a row about Nicki’s whereabouts. She comes back home late at night and Johan inspects her phone, realising, much to his displeasure, that she has a black boyfriend. They have an argument and go to bed.

Elsewhere, Palesa’s ex-boyfriend Given notices her hanging out with a man named Adze and informs her father. Dinoko is already cross with Adze for being a Nigerian immigrant and leasing a property he wanted to expand his store. The news about his daughter’s involvement with him sends him over the edge.

If you still have doubts about the ending, here’s a full breakdown.

Collision (2022) ending explained in detail:

Betrayal

The next morning, Nicki is convinced that she does not want to leave the country for her trip and calls Cecil to pick her up lest she hurt herself. Cecil agrees and arrives with Thando in a stolen car. Diane tries to stop her from leaving but is unable to.

Elsewhere, Palesa spends the day with Adze in the back of his new store and they bond. They eventually talk about wrongful discrimination against immigrants and Palesa encourages Adze use his qualifications as a chef to sell his food and make the locals not hate him.

Meanwhile, Thando drives Nicki and Cecil to a secret location where he says Bra Sol wants the latter to meet a music producer. Instead, his men kidnap Nicki, leaving Cecil horrified and Thando scared.

Cecil confronts Thando and beats him to a pulp to extract information. Once he realises that the gangster wants his girlfriend to work in his club, he decides to call Johan for help.

The former military man rushes home after hearing the news and breaks the terrible news to Diane. He loads up his gun and plans to go looking for Nicki himself since involving the cops would mean ousting his own corrupt business ventures with Bra Sol. Unable to stay at home, Diane accompanies him.

Back at the shop, Dinoko confronts Palesa about her choice in men and insults her. She is visibly hurt and walks away from him. Johan and Diane reach the spot and pick up Cecil who guides them to a possible location where Nicki might be.

Nicki’s mistake

Bra Sol meets up with a contact and it is revealed that he is involved in human trafficking as well. He earns a lot of his money from shipping girls overseas. Despite the latest shipment, he is still 100,000 rand short on the bribe money and offers to throw in Nicki for the remaining amount.

Thando then rushes to see Bra Sol and confesses to him that he feels terrible about betraying his friend and there may be another way they can get the money. The gangster considers this and tells him to ask her father for half a million in bribe to let her go.

If he can get the money then it’s all good otherwise Nicki gets exported as a prostitute. During this conversation Cecil and the Gresers arrive at the club looking for Bra Sol. They don’t find him but Johan holds Thando at gunpoint, forcing him to reveal the instructions he just received.

Realising that Thando is her maid’s son, Diane convinces him to tell them of a place where Nicki might be. He does so, stating that Bra Sol keeps his export-ready girls there. The gangster gets to know that Johan has busted his latest shipment, incurring a huge loss.

Frustrated, he goes to see Nicki who seems to be perfectly fine and happy. It is then revealed that Nicki teamed up with Bra Sol to kidnap her and ask for ransom so that she can take part of the money and escape to LA with Cecil without her parents’ knowledge.

However, this plan backfires when Bra Sol lets her know that he asked for 500,000 rand instead of the 100,000 initially agreed. Nicki gets aggravated at this news as she knows her parents don’t have that kind of money.

Bra Sol beats her up and lets her know that her father caused him a huge loss so he can either pay or see his little girl get shipped off like the rest. He then puts her in the trunk of his car.

Stand-off

Meanwhile, Given and Dinoko, having reached their limit, stir up the local neighbourhood to protest against the immigrants and it gets violent. Given goes to collect more men with weapons as Dinoko oversees a crowd burning down Adze’s store.

What he doesn’t know is that Palesa is inside. When they hear the aggressive crowd, Palesa texts her father who is shocked when he realises what is about to happen. The locals burst into the store, set it on fire and beat Adze with clubs.

Realising that the rear exit is also locked, Dinoko rushes to save his daughter but she is fatally shot by a local who watches her try to escape. She perishes in her father’s arms who curses himself for his blind hatred.

Elsewhere, Cecil and Thando trick Bra Sol by giving him false information that Johan is ready with the money and give him a location to arrive at. Diane has already called the police and Johan drives to the same location.

Cecil and Thando travel to the spot as well in hopes of helping. Incidentally, due to Adze’s store being burnt, there is a massive power outage and Bra Sol’s car collides with Given’s van due to that. Most of the protestors in the van perish and the gangster is hurt.

The two friends and the Gresers arrive on the spot too as a dazed Bra Sol gets out of his car. Johan steps out with his gun and Bra Sol pulls out Nicki from the trunk and holds her at gunpoint.

He lets a shot fly at Johan and orders him to drop the gun, threatening to kill his daughter. Cecil steps out of the vehicle and orders Thando to record everything.

He begs Bra Sol to let his girlfriend go but he shoots him fatally. Nicki releases herself and runs to Cecil. Taking the opportunity Johan fires multiple shots at the gangster who returns the favour.

Bra Sol, Johan and Cecil die on the spot with Diane and Nicki crying over the dead bodies. Thando watches in shock from the car as Nicki helplessly blames her rebellious decision making for the incident.


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