Don Cheadle, as always, is first-rate and Sandra Bullock, in a more surprising turn of events, is watchably good in this Paul Haggis flick which ties together multiple narratives, all of them commenting variously on race relations in Los Angeles. Pride, love, hate, shame, guilt–the really capitol human emotions get the spotlight here in stories interweaving anti-establishment car-jacking hoodlums, a racist cop with a dying father, a husband-and-wife whose marriage teeters on the brink after a shameful run-in with the police, a high-profile D.A. who tries to spin a cop-killing scandal into one that turns in his favor as he heads into election season. It’s all high-power stuff but Paul Haggis is no Robert Altman and Crash is actually a sub-par, sophomoric attempt at high-brow. The movie aspires to intelligence but only manages to get about halfway there. The geographic coincidences overlapping the stories aren’t the problem so much as the ease and glibness with which these dramatic events unfold. Crash is a corny Hollywood attempt at a social problem drama, well acted enough to recommend but with a caveat: Don’t look too deep here nor think too hard. Crash is just malarkey masquerading as world-class drama–the kind of movie so serious about its intentions and so naïve, that you just want to sit there and “razzberry” the whole time. The fanciful snow fluttering across the screen at the end really says it all, my friends. This is Hollywood. Not the real world to which Haggis aspires.
Directed by: Paul Haggis
Written by: Paul Haggis, Robert Moresco
Cast: Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Thandie Newton, Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Ludacris, Ryan Phillippe, Larenz Tate