Review: Crash (2005)

I wasn’t going to review this. In my opinion, it’s a bad movie. But bad movies, like all movies, must be reviewed, and it’s fun to review movies like these because there’s such divided opinion. Some people think it’s brilliant, others think it’s mediocre, and there’s people like me who think it’s downright awful, and deserves to die a most painful death. But, let’s settle why I think it’s overrated, and try to come to terms with it.

Now, Crash is directed by Paul Haggis, the writer of Million Dollar Baby. It’s about a group of people… something about a car crash, and getting doors locked… you know, I don’t really know. I fell asleep, sorry.

Nah, just kidding. It’s about a group of people bound by fate forced to accept that racism is bad. Now, for starters, who did not already know that racism was bad? Raise your hands… uh, huh, I thought so… nobody didn’t already know. Now, how many of you people are proud racists? Anyone? No? Doesn’t surprise me. So… how many of you thought the film was necessary? Zip.

There’s no logic to it. The acting is bad (well, not bad… sub-par might be a better word) and the only reason it won the stupid Best Picture Oscar is because people were afriad to vote for a movie about gay cowboys… now that is racism. Well, homophobia, but same diff.

I know this review isn’t the best written, and I might be sounding like an arrogant prick to some, but I’ll give a well written review to a well-made movie. If I come across a scummy piece of crap like Crash, I don’t feel the need to go into in-depth writing. It doesn’t deserve it.

Crash is a film that desperately tries to steal our emotions with scenes of burning car wrecks and little girls getting shot. And then when suddenly, the gun doesn’t fire, we’re supposed to believe it was some magic blanket that saved them (although it is revealed later that the bullets were blanks). This is stooping so low into the audience’s mind. Haggis is swooning for cheap tricks and clichés and it makes me so mad. Some scenes have a point, but most of the time Haggis is just recycling the same boring old theme about… racism is bad, mmkay? Let’s all live happily and blah blah blah.

A film like this, to me, is going to have little to no effect on racism. If a person chooses to be a racist, they’re a racist. We might not like them, but 105 minutes of crying and overacting isn’t going to change that. Haggis’ film has no reason to exist, and the effect it tries to have is drowned out by downright bad filmmaking.

If you’re going to make an effective film about the troubles that racism causes, then do it subtly. Not blatantly. Hint at it, but don’t shout it in the audience’s faces. They don’t like being shouted at. Making a film that hints at your emotions and affects you without you even knowing you’ve been affected until a while later is good filmmaking. It’s like advertising… we know we’re getting products thrown in our faces, so we ignore them. But if something is subtly hinted at, and not thrown at us, we listen and take heed what it’s trying to say. That’s how Crash should’ve been made, but sadly, it wasn’t.

My Rating:

1.5/5

Is It Worth Adding To Your Netflix Queue?

But enough of my opinion, time to bring it over to you, the reader, whose opinion is a million times more interesting and important than mine will ever be. So we’ll put it to a vote. What do you think of Crash?

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About Tyler

Patient observer of all things film and music, from Béla Tarr to Boards of Canada. Foul mouthed and clinging to the edge of sanity.

Posted on July 9, 2011, in Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. God, I hate this film. It didn’t even deserve a nomination for Best Picture.

    There’s only 1 thing I like about this movie – song “In the Deep”.

  2. I had to watch this in an English class one time and write about it (I can’t even remember what I was exactly supposed to write about it), but I remember that I found it offensive in every possible way.

    Everyone involved is was so much better than this film (don’t know about Haggis, but actor wise – minus Bullock as I have never really gotten her appeal as an actor.)

    There is a particular dislike for this film because of the whole Brokeback Mountain debacle, and usually I would side to those that will give whatever film is getting slandered a break, but for Crash, I just can’t get over the fact that I found it so offensive.

    • Offensive is a good word for it. There were so many things that offended me, too. Ugh, I’d hate to have to write a report about it to give to people who probably think it’s gospel.

  3. I was one of the few people who liked it…feel free to shoot me now.

    But compared to Brokeback Mountain, this is peanuts.

  4. Where to begin, where to begin… For starters, for this whole convoluted mess of a film to work, it requires a metric shit-ton of absurd coincidences. And by cramming them into the film, it forces the movie into a really dumb world bordering on “magical realism”.

    Second, the movie could not be less subtle. It takes the message- racism is still alive and kicking, and it’s not just white people who have racist opinions- and bashes the viewer over the head with it again and again and again. It’s bad filmmaking.

    Third, having an open dialogue about race, and race relations, is a wonderful thing. It’s what breaks down walls. To do so in the way that “Crash” does it is to do the subject a grave disservice. It’s childish and obvious and ham-fisted and nobody is going to learn a damned thing from that.

    Last and least, Sandra Bullock can kiss my fat hairy white ass, now and always. She should stick to the billion incarnations of “Love is Nice” that she’s made and stay out of the “Art Films for Complete Morons” business.

    The funny thing is, I’d reached a détente with this movie. If people want to like it, more power to them. Who am I to say someone shouldn’t like it? 999 times out of 1,000, I’d rather turn someone on to something they might like rather than piss and moan about how something they enjoyed sucked ass. It’s just so hard to not rail against this steaming turd.

    • I must say, I was waiting for this comment ever since I pressed the ‘Publish’ button :). You summed up just about everything I was goin’ at, and it was nice of you to finally get that off your chest.

      What makes the whole debacle of this movie worse for me is that my girlfriend loves it and owns the DVD, which I have to blink and miss every time I’m skimming our DVD collection for something to watch.

      Agreein’ with you a hundred percent on the Bullock thing also. Is it just me, or should she have won a Razzie for The Blind Side rather than an Oscar? That movie was so annoyingly unoriginal that it’s almost as if they were asking me to hate it by casting her.

  5. Yea this movie is really in your face and totally unsubtle but I certainly didn’t think it was terrible at all. Weird that it has gotten so much backlash.

    • I know, I don’t normally get this pissed off over a movie but it was just really insulting. I’m not going to ramble on and repeat anything I’ve already said but I’ll try not to be this antagonistic and extreme next time I review a bad movie. And the backlash is largely because it stole Best Picture off Brokeback Mountain.

  6. Racism is a major concern of mine, and in regards this subject, I’d like to recommend the movie Crash (2005; careful, there is another recent film with the same name), directed by Paul Haggis. It is one of the most thought-provoking films I have seen about prejudice. And it is an ideal movie to use in educational programs about tolerance.
    Crash interweaves a number of stories dealing with racism. It is easy to criticize the stories as being too stereotypical and relying on unlikely coincidences. However, I don’t think the movie was meant to be a perfect representation of reality. The coincidences are simply tools to make points. And the stereotypical thinking of the characters, I must say, is awfully close to the way people do, in fact, think about members of other groups.

    Crash goes beyond the typical “evil racist – poor innocent victimized minority” mentality that pervades many print and film representations of prejudice. Every story is different, and the endings are unpredictable (at least to my limited mind). Taken as a whole, the vignettes demonstrate how difficult it is to be free of racial prejudice. Minority members are just as blinded by their prejudices as are members of the majority. Even those who attempt to fight against prejudice by overcompensating end up committing injustices.

    From the perspective of my Bullies to Buddies philosophy, the important thing about the movie is that every character who acts despicably feels, not like a bully, but like a victim! Some may seem to us like bullies, but they act from the motivation of being victims. As I keep on insisting, if we want to make the world a better place, we need to end our crusade against bullies and start teaching people how to stop thinking like victims.

  1. Pingback: What’s Everyone Watching? 7/11/2011 « Southern Vision: A Blog About Movies

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