Featuring an all-star cast, Crash is a thought-provoking and emotional character study exploring many different urban issues. One of the main ones is racism although I would also argue that our social structure is also under the microscope here. Before we go any further, I should remind you not to confuse the movie Crash 2004 with Cronenberg’s 1996 movie Crash. And while I do understand why Cronenberg had to use that title, for the life of me I cannot figure out why this movie had to do the same thing. We get it, it’s about the crash but couldn’t you be just a tad bit more original when it comes to the title of your movie?
And I say this because I want people to see this movie, Crash 2004, and talk about it. It’s much more complex than you think it is and this was completely unintentional. First of all, the story is based on a real incident where someone stole the director’s Porsche back in the 90s. And right away you get that feeling that this might be that heavy-handed and pretentious meditation on the racial state of affairs in America. There will be some iffy scenes but for the most part, movie keeps things real and moving.
Crash 2004 is a movie that slowly pulls you in. It opens with a fatal car crash and then goes back in time to show us the events that led to this horrific event. So, we will be following those 48 hours preceding this incident which gives the movie a sense of structure and urgency. Plus, we all want to see how these interconnecting stories all come together. This is, above all, an urban story about the state of our society today. It’s not a movie about good old times or a bright future but a movie about the dreary present.
It is another busy night in Los Angeles for detectives Waters and Ria. They just arrived at yet another crime scene, this time a fatal car crash that left one poor kid dead in a field next to a busy road. And while they don’t know much about this crash, we’re about to learn a lot. There are eight people whose destinies will be forever entwined and we will meet each and every one of them.
So, Crash 2004 is another one of those interlocking stories movies. If done right, they can be thoroughly engrossing and thought-provoking. And I can tell you right away that this one is done just right. Speaking of car crashes and character studies, I have to mention Stuck starring Stephen Rea. Based on true events that movie is more of a black comedy than a drama. 2 Days in The Valley does not have any car crashes but it’s also an interlocking stories movie. So, be sure to check these two movies out if you’re looking for something a bit more lighthearted than this.
Moving on, the characters are so diverse that you might even recognize yourself or someone you know in them. The cast did a terrific job with Don Cheadle and Matt Dillon giving excellent performances. Considering the minuscule budget of just $6.5 million movie looks freaking great. The cinematography has this dark and ominous vibe like we’re watching a noir movie. However, I want you to pay attention to the camera work here as it was fucking scrumptious.
Director: Paul Haggis
Writers: Paul Haggis, Bobby Moresco
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Sean Cory Cooper, Tony Danza, Matt Dillon, William Fichtner, Jennifer Esposito
Fun Facts: Make-up artists aged Shaun Toub by about 15 years.