I typically don’t dislike movies. I don’t know whether I’m just too optimistic, or whether I have good foresight and avoidance skills. Seriously, I’ve rated 1267 films over at Half Popped Reviews, and thus far only 50 of them got a score less than 50 from me. I did some math, and that’s like 4%. I’m not the type of movie reviewer who likes to be shocking with my scores. In fact, I probably rate a lot of movies higher than their average scores.
And yet, CRASH.
It won the Academy Award for Best Picture back in 2004, and after finally watching it tonight, I gave it a low score. A really low score.
I scored it a 44 out of 100.
The “passion piece” Paul Haggis created is creative in its complexity, but there are only a couple other compliments I can pay it. Michael Pena gives an exceptional performance, but his thread in the movie is too minimal. Terrance Howard is almost as impressive. And I’d be remiss not to mention that Ryan Phillippe, Don Cheadle, Thandie Newton, Jennifer Esposito and Larenz Tate gave above-average performances. But the dialogue was sub-par. Too many of the characters had too little depth. Too many of their actions were illogical or contrived.
At times, CRASH felt like a very well-acted after-school special hoping to convince 12 year old kids that racism is wrong. In the end, CRASH tried too hard to make a statement. A film about racial tensions, especially including the police as such a significant part of the plot, should resonate today, and it doesn’t because of the poorly written dialogue and weak characters.