Crash (1997) Movie Review

Kinky sex? Intentional car wrecks? Extreme underground perversion? A year and a half of fuss and controversy for this? You betcha!

Crash is one of the more disturbing movies I've seen in my lifetime, and although I enjoyed it on an aesthetic level, I find it difficult to recommend to the masses, and I think you'll see why in a minute.

David Cronenberg's story of a cadre of fetishists who get off on car wrecks and suck in the not-so-innocent-themselves Ballard family (James Spader and Deborah Unger) is an exercise in extremism. Powerful performances by all the leads (especially Holly Hunter and Elias Koteas as big-time fetishists), excellent scoring, and masterful visuals make Crash a tricky little picture. A little eye-popping, a little nauseating, it's easy to get sucked into Cronenberg's spell.

Then again, this is a movie about sex and car crashes, for God's sake! Where Cronenberg fails in his attempt to shock us is in his trying much too hard to make us identify with these freaks and their freakishness. When you let your disbelief creep in just a little bit, you start to ask yourself if it's even remotely reasonable to be aroused by a car crash. I just don't think so.

Crash gets progressively more and more disturbing as it gets more and more ridiculous. The ending is predictable, yet oddly understated.

Sure, it's pretty silly when you sit down and think about it, but I have to hand it to Cronie for trying. I know I buckled my seatbelt on the way home from the theater.

One of the loonies from Crash.


Crash (1997) Rating

" Good "

Rating: NC-17, 1997


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