Directed by Paul Haggis (2004)
Reviewed by MaT, added on Sep 6 2005
As all of us know, "race" is a touchy subject for a lot of people, especially here in gun happy America. Paul Haggis makes his feature film directorial debut with Crash, a film that attempts to make, presumably, some new social commentary about race and prejudice while interweaving various story lines of around a dozen characters of different ethnic backgrounds.
This film looks great. Haggis' style reminds me of a mixture of Michael Mann and Steven Soderbergh. The visuals are gritty, out of focus, and grainy which suits the narrative perfectly. Nearly everyone in the film is spot on in terms of acting. Even Ludacris (yes...Ludacris) does a great job. The only person who stuck out like a sore thumb was Brendan Fraser. He was completely out of his league and was a terrible casting decision. Matt Dillon gave the best performance; making us go from complete and total revulsion to feeling sympathy for his character. By far, the best performance of the film.
The main problem with the film is that it seems to be in love with it's own preachiness. The majority of the characters are despicable in some way and by the time Haggis' final act comes around, the attempts to soften the characters and "change" them feels forced and contrived. Coupled with that is the fact that with so many characters with cross cutting storylines, Haggis never fully focuses on any of them, meaning we only get cursory examinations of their thought processes and what makes them "racist" in the first place.
That being said, this is still a damn fine film. Haggis has created a great directorial debut and I would recommend this film. If you can get past the fact that the film seems to be a little full of itself and doesn't really make any new commentary on racism that we haven't seen before, then you'll find yourself having an enjoyable experience.
Oh yeah, and take a girl to it. She'll start crying :)