Crash (a Kind of Movie Review)

crash: a pretty, fun, full-of-crap movie, with some powerfully acted moments (spoilers follow)

everywhere: tarantino-esque supposed to be funny-because-it’s-shocking racist repartee. the absolute low: “how did those two cultures (el salvadorian and puerto rican?) get together and decide to park their cars on the grass?”, said to his girlfriend in a fit of blue-balled pique.

coincidence #1: opening crash - cut to dazed detective getting out and finding his dead brother’s shoe on the side of the road

coincidence #2: molester cop randomly encounters molested woman next day and pulls her from her car just before it explodes (i was really pulling for him! it was a tasteful molestation, so he turned out ok)

coincidence #3: molester cop’s ex-partner also randomly encounters molested woman’s partner the same day and saves his life after he flips out and fights back against carjackers, then, continuing to run amok, attempts suicide-by-cop in a delayed reaction to his doormat-like acquiescence to her molestation-by-cop.

coincidence #4: one of the carjacker who failed in #3, later that night while hitchhiking ends up shot by the #3 lifesaving cop - while not emotionally significant, it’s still improbable that they would both have an independent relationship to the same car

obvious: evil HMO refuses to check molester’s dad for prostate cancer

obvious: imaginary bullet-proof cloaks and a blank ammunition

obvious: ludacris ironically railing against mumbling rappers

annoying: DA assistant’s sleazy/glib blackmail presentation

annoying: if you don’t want to rock the LAPD boat in order to leave your racist partner, you have to publicly claim uncontrollable flatulence

annoying: knowing the leaking gasoline would eventually reach the flame. (a person or a blanket would have easily been able to stop that flow)

retarded: molested woman’s partner brawling with two armed carjackers (we’re to understand that said carjackers, who earlier told us they would never steal from black people, won’t shoot)

retarded: detective’s brother / ludacris’ carjacking partner getting himself shot and tragically having an idol of St. Somebody in his hand rather than a gun. i would have shot him too.

retarded: giving ludacris back his gun and telling him he embarrasses you

true and sad: producer telling above partner (also a TV director) to direct a black actor to “talk more black”

horrible person: hmo bureaucrat who admits she’s making prostate dad suffer because his molester son is racist

horrible person: persian father who was enough of a dick that i was happy his store was vandalized in possible retaliation

horrible person: detective’s mother. gross. her son is a saint for not raging against her.

horrible person: DA’s wife. disgusting in every way. her quasi-redemption did nothing for me - when she realizes she is angry all the time for no reason, when she realizes that her maid (who should hate her but is too saintly) is the only friend she has, i think “yes, you are horrible, and your husband treats you better than you deserve”

possibly horrible person: DA, because presumably he knows what his blackmailing subordinate did. “i need to pin a medal on a black person so i still get votes from people after i was carjacked by black people” was just stupid, not evil. it’s part of the morality of the film that as a politician, he must be tainted by evil, but i do enjoy his calm command. he seems reasonable to me.

horrible person: ludacris’ carjacking partner.

horrible person: ludacris, until he’s conveniently redeemed by setting free the smuggled vietnamese locked in the back of the van he stole because he remembered it from the night before he hit-and-nearly-ran the night prior in the car he stole from the DA

horrible person: molester cop until he’s conveniently redeemed by heroically pulling the woman he molested from a car just prior to its explosion

nice person: locksmith (and his family), whether or not he vandalized the persian father who abused him and cheated him. horrible if in handing down invisible bulletproof cloak he scarred his daughter for life after he was shot (thanks, blanks) - which i was waiting for the entire movie.

nice person: persian daughter who bought the blanks

nice person: detective, provided he reneges on his deal to withhold exculpatory evidence now that his brother is dead

nice person: director who let his wife be molested.

nice person: not-racist cop, who rightfully shot his crazy hitchhiker (but he could have done MORE! we ALL could do MORE!)

overall: about the 300th best movie i’ve watched. pretty and well-acted. if you liked crash, magnolia does it better (equally believable and with less moralizing)