In 1994, Quentin Tarantino introduced the notion of the two sophisticated criminals bantering about the state of the world. This was an interesting way to turn a traditional concept, the dumb criminal, on it’s head.
Crash, the 2005 Oscar Winner, is a film about racism that opens the same way Pulp Fiction and Natural Born Killers opened. With two criminals commenting on the state of the world. That initial opening raises your hope that you are about to see something really good. The Oscar tag makes you feel even more excited, and then the film falls apart. The morality play takes over, and the story withers and dies.
The intent of Crash is to teach us that in our little racist world no one is an angel and no one is a saint. Every single character in the film is either a victim of racism or commits an act of racism within a single 36 hour time period.
To make the film seem more than an after school special we have odd co-incidences, great actors, and some adult themes. But the predictability of the film is irritating.
Of course, when daddy gives up his invulnerable bullet vest to his daughter, the daughter will try and save him from a bullet.
Of course the good white cop is going to stereotype a black man and do something terrible, like bury his body in a ravine.
Of course the good black man is going to try and recover his manhood by acting out some gangsta fantasy.
Of course the good black cop is going to sell out a bad white cop to save his criminal brother.
You can watch this Oscar Winner or you can watch South Park. South Park’s commentary on racism is far more biting and insightful.