Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Retro Review: Crash (2005)

                                                  'Crash' Is Caught Up In Its Own Smoke

       We have obviously seen films that deal with racial intolerance over the years (i.e., 12 Years A Slave, Do The Right Thing, The Help, etc.). But up until now, I don't think I have ever seen a film deal with race in such a patronizing and preachy manner. Crash is sadly just that.
     Crash follows the lives of different people in LA of different ethnicities as they crash into each other and become involved in a web of racial intolerance.

     If there is one thing I did like, it was the acting. Despite the dialogue and story being too ham-fisted, the actors really do a great job at trying to lift it and make it work. One actress that really stood out, in my opinion, was Ms. Sandra Bullock, who plays a woman that comes off as racist after being carjacked, but only is that way out of fear and anger. Despite having about 3 scenes, Bullock really makes the most of it and she shows us a rather different side of her that we haven't really seen from her. All the other actors do a fine job, but it's Sandy who steals the show.

    First and foremost, I severely disliked the inane dialogue. The dialogue is just way too patronizing and "on the nose". Not to mention, it makes the film come off as preachy, which it is. For example, there is a scene where Ludacris and his friend complain about how the white people at a coffee shop they went to were worried that they might be thugs. Scenes like that would've worked much better if we actually saw what happened and not have the characters explain everything. Plus, I found the film to be quite emotionally manipulative as well. For example, the film tries to make us feel sorry for a bigot cop, played by Matt Dillon, just because his father is sick. My biggest problem with the film just lies in the script. It is filled with preachy dialogue and has cheap machinations. Even when some of the characters start to learn the error of their ways, it is way too forced. Since the script is so flawed, in my opinion, it is what really brings the film down.

   Overall, Crash is a preachy and patronizing take on racial intolerance that, outside of its amazing actors, is really brought down by the cheap mechanics of its overindulgent and flawed script. I guess I would say give it a watch because it won the Oscar for Best Picture (even though I'm obviously one of those that think it shouldn't have), or just to formulate your own opinion. But, I wouldn't put this high on your watch list.

Grade: D