The film begins with Don Cheadle, a police detective, commenting that the people in L.A. never make contact or touch each other because they’re always travelling by car, -“separated by glass and steel”- and communication only occurs when their vehicles crash into each other. There’s been a car pile-up on the freeway and his partner is having a heated argument with an Asian woman. The scene changes and we see two relatively well-dressed, young African- Americans, having an intelligent conversation about racism. They are walking through a predominately white upper-class suburb in L.A., one of the men observe that the white people around them appear to be scared of them, and that they are the one’s who should be scared, when the other asks, “So why aren’t we scared?” “Because we have guns!” Suddenly both pull out pistols and commit a car jacking, the victims just happen to be the District Attorney of L.A. and his wife. The story continues focusing on the lives of a Persian storeowner and his family, an African-American television director and his beautiful wife; a Mexican American locksmith; a racist cop and his rookie partner and a Korean couple whose activities in the film is revealed at the end and is quite surprising.
Haggis wrote and directed this film and cleverly connects the characters lives, where their individual actions, either directly or indirectly has a great effect on their respective views of themselves and the people around them. In other words, despite living behind “glass and steel”, our lives are destined to collide. As I believe this film is a realistic view of modern urban life, for the most part, however, is a tragedy, because despite existing side by side, we continue to be alienated, though connected as human beings, affecting each other personally, and forced to communicate only through fear, violence and…unexpected collision.
The cast for Crash is what makes this movie so strong. The excellent ensemble cast includes Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Don Cheadle, Jennifer Esposito, Matt Dillon, Ryan Phillippe, Terrence Howard, Thandie Newton, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges”, Larenz Tate, William Fichtner, Michael Pena, and many others. Some characters have more screen time than others, but all of the separate stories are linked together in one way or another. And through the movie every single one of the characters changes from where they were at the beginning of the movie.
How many movies can you say that about?
The DVD features widescreen presentation, a brief introduction from Haggis, a commentary track with Haggis, Don Cheadle and writer Bobby Moresco, several trailers although none for Crash, and a good 10 minute behind the scenes featurette.
Crash” isn’t a simple film to digest, and with its uncomfortable ideas of intolerance and resentment, it also won’t be a film completely accepted either
This movie is a masterpiece and needs to be in the collection!!!!
Roger Eberts Review:
Not many films have the possibility of making their audiences better people. I don’t expect “Crash” to work any miracles, but I believe anyone seeing it is likely to be moved to have a little more sympathy for people not like themselves. The movie contains hurt, coldness and cruelty, but is it without hope? Not at all. Stand back and consider. All of these people, superficially so different, share the city and learn that they share similar fears and hopes. Until several hundred years ago, most people everywhere on earth never saw anybody who didn’t look like them. They were not racist because, as far as they knew, there was only one race.
You may have to look hard to see it, but “Crash” is a film about progress.