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Insults intelligence and cheapens the message, if there is one.
I saw this "movie" partly because of the sheer number of good reviews at Netflix, and from it I leaned a valuable lesson. Not a lesson about ethnic diversity however...the lesson I learned is "Don't trust reviews".
Yes, racism sucks and people are complicated, but the people who actually need to see this movie are going to be the ones who are the least drawn to it and least affected by it if they DO see it. The only reason that I can think of for the number of good reviews is that it's being reviewed by people who aren't used to thinking, or who've seen their first thought-provoking movie and somehow think that Haggis invented the concept. In fact, he basically made this film, which should be called "Racism For Dummies", as emotionally wrenching as possible, seemingly to give people who don't spend a lot of time thinking the impression that they've discovered some fundamental truth that's never been covered in a film before. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintanence it's not... An after-school special for the unthinking masses, cut into bite-sized overwrought ham-fisted pieces to make it easier to swallow without too much introspection.
It's as if they portrayed everyone as being the worst possible extreme, simply to make us happy that we're such good people because we don't identify with the characters. Let's face it people. NOBODY identifies with these characters because they're all cardboard cutouts and stereotypes (or predictably reverse-stereotypes). It's well acted (even if the dialog is atrocious) and cleverly executed, so much that you don't think to ask "where's the beef?" until you can tell the film is winding down. The flaming car scene was well executed, like much of the movie, but went nowhere in the end.
The messages are very heavy-handed, and from the "behind the scenes" blurb, the producers were clearly watching a different movie, because there is very little to laugh about in this movie, even during the intended funny parts. I have to stress that this is NOT entertainment, more like a high school diversity lesson...call it the "Blood on the Highway" of racism. They could even show this in high schools if it weren't for the "side-nude" shot of Jennifer Esposito.
In this film, everyone's a jerk and everyone learns a lesson (except for Michael Pena who gets the best role, but the most predictable storyline).
This is a bad film, with bad writing, and good actors....an ugly cartoon crafted by Paul Haggis for people who can't handle anything but the bold strokes in storytelling....a picture painted with crayons.
Crash is a depressing little nothing, that provokes emotion, but teaches you nothing if you already know racism and prejudice are bad things.