Dir: Paul Haggis
Cast: Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock
Release Date: 5th December 2005
Crash is about racism. Repeat, Crash is about racism. That’s R-A-C… In the hands of director Haggis and co-writer Bobby Maresco, scarcely a scene goes by that doesn’t engineer characters of different ethnic mixes slamming into each other, dodgems in an L.A fairground that spins the same old tune over and over. No one can deny the issue’s import but its bludgeoning usage here actually lessens the impact. And Los Angeles is too sprawling a city to legitimately justify the repeated coincidental collisions that the movie’s disparate characters have. There’s dramatic licence and then there’s writing under the influence.
And yet… there are too many standout performances – from veterans Cheadle and Dillon as very different cops, as well as lesser known talents like Michael Pena’s Hispanic locksmith – flashes of brilliantly abrasive dialogue and even a handful of great scenes, contrived or not, to simply dismiss the film as merely a equal-opportunities expurgation of liberal guilt. But without a genuinely honest appraisal or framework, such accusations are merely an accident waiting to happen.
Extras: Commentary by Haggis, Cheadle and Bobby Moresco; ‘Making of’ Featurette; Music Video; Trailer
A muted, respectful commentary that feels as if we’re interrupting Haggis and co from admiring their own movie, along with a brief, bland Making Of and music video.
Film: * * * (three stars) Extras: * * (two stars)