Not really. Crash is probably the middle-brow hit of the summer. Entertaining, interesting, thought-provoking full of medium sized stars. The kind of ensemble piece that makes you feel good afterwards, and since it shares structure with Traffic, Short Cuts and Magnolia, the fact you get change out of two hours is a bonus. The downside? Who wants to spend just under two hours with a bunch of racists being racist to each other?

Crash does start with a terrible crash itself. Not a car accident (it starts just after one of the many car accidents in the film) but rather with a speech that poor old Don Cheedle has to spit out. It is a philosophical comment on the reason people crash into each other in Los Angeles, and makes no sense, and sounds like an op-ed piece. Here it is:

It’s the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In LA, nobody touches you. We’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.

If you can get past that, the rest of the film is really rather good. It has the benefit of being the first film I can think of in years that actually talks about race in the US, and its conclusions are (sweet snowfall notwithstanding) pretty dire. As is some of the dialogue, which I initially thought was a flaw of the film. But actually I don’t know how racists speak in their day to day lives, especially when they are going about their racist business so I can’t claim lack of verisimilitude. Crash is a tricky film, which almost falls apart in so many places. But its better than David Cronenberg’s. Which really was a crashing bore.