Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#460: Crash (2004)

Director: Paul Haggis
Cast: Pretty Much Everyone

Crash weaves together multiple stories of residents in Los Angeles, each of whom have their lives affected by racism. Cameron and Christine Thayer are an upper-class black couple who are pulled over by police officers John and Tommy. John pulled them over due to racial profiling, and uses his authority to molest Christine while searching for a weapon in her cocktail dress. Jean Cabot is the wife of the district attorney, a white man who is involved in racial politics. When the Cabot's car is stolen by a couple of black thugs, her racism goes wild. She changes the locks on her door, but when she notices that the man changing the locks is Mexican, she wants them changed again the next day. Farhad is a Persian store owner who buys a gun to protect his store, all because of the racial prejudices against people from the Middle East. And the story just keeps on going.

I don't get why this film is such a big deal. It shows everyone as a complete moron. I almost feel that it's a dragged out version of Avenue Q's "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist". There's only one character that doesn't act like an idiot at some point, and that's the Mexican locksmith, Daniel Ruiz. I would go into detail on how all the others show their idiocy, but considering it's a cast of about 426, I'll save it for a later date.

What I can give this film is good cinematography. I'm trying to think of anything else to give it. But I just can't come up with much. I can say that one or two scenes did get me thinking about how racism can be employed for personal gain. So I guess besides cinematography, it's also a possible conversation starter. Wahoo.

It seems to me that Paul Haggis at some point in his life realized that he was a bit racist, and decided to exploit everyone's racism in one big on-screen romp. [Oh my gosh, I was right. After writing this, I started looking up my Fun trivia. Just take a look at the first bullet.] It's an extremely pretentious film. Two thumbs down. And to the Academy - what in God's name were you thinking?

Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
  • One of the things that inspired the movie was that Paul Haggis was carjacked himself.
  • First Best Picture film since Rocky (1976) to win only three Oscars (they usually win four or more).


  1. Interesting review. Personally, I thought the movie was interesting and thought provoking because of how it painted otherwise smart people to be idiots when race got involved.

  2. I suppose so. But it's not even just when race gets involved... like, why would somebody put their hand in their pockets when a cop is yelling at them? Why would you wear socks on a wooden floor on the top of a staircase? Why was the Persian guy so dumb throughout the whole movie?

    I guess it's possible that it also got me frustrated because I don't have the answers to the questions raised. It's never good to ask me questions I can't answer. :P