It’s not very often that you get to see a movie that addresses race in a frank manner. Racial stereotypes are everywhere and every person has them, no matter what you may say. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the hoopla surrounding Katrina’s rage. Accusations fly back and forth about the lack of caring and rescue efforts due to the color of the many victims.

Crash does an excellent job of taking racism and discussing this from several points of view. The dialogue is biting, engrossing, and even humorous at times (Michael Pena’s discussion with his daughter about a fairy giving him a cloak of impenetrability had me laughing my ass off) but in the end it gets a good point across.

The characters are very interesting to watch, that’s for sure.

Each character alternates between being on the short end of the stick and dishing out their own animosity. One example that jumps to mind is the character played by Loretta Devine. Although she gets a racist tongue-lashing by Matt Dillon’s hateful police officer (“Shaniqua? Big fucking surprise”), she insults a driver at the end of the movie with “if you don’t speak English, don’t even bother talking to me”.

A Persian man who, through a simple breakdown in communication, loses everything, aims his anger towards a Hispanic man who is probably the most wholesome and appealing character in the entire film.

Ryan Phillipe and Matt Dillon play two police officers; one naïve and young, one bitter and disillusioned. I can honestly say that it’s probably Phillipe’s best performance to date, in my opinion, and DEFINITELY a great performance by Dillon. What’s unfortunate is I’ve known people that harbor the same feelings as Dillon, out here in the real world.

Ludacris and Larenz Tate play two young men who wax constantly about race relations and Ludacris has some of the best lines of the movie, hands down. His monologue on the evils of rap music is almost side-splititingly funny, seeing as he is one of the biggest rap stars as of late. He discusses black-on-black violence and how disgusting and desperate you must be to purport violence against “your own people” but gives the okay to act this same violence out towards the oppressive white people.

Going into the movie, both The Wif and I knew that there was going to be some bad joo-joo due to all we’d heard from friends who had seen it already. The entire movie has an ominous feel to it because, as a viewer, you can see the big picture. You can see that these characters are all going to ‘crash’ into each other, like Don Cheadle’s monologue leads you to believe. The entire movie is building up to some major events, although we weren’t sure exactly what they’d be. When they happen, they are quick and there is no warning.

At times funny (gotta go Mom, I’m having sex with a white woman!) and at other times thought-provoking, Crash is definitely going on the must-buy list and warrants several more viewings. A terrific film and I’d definitely advise you to check it out.

posted Mon, 09-12-05


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