Emergency is a fantastic movie that you need to watch. While this movie may be packaged as another Hangover clone, it proves to be much more meaningful. Emergency uses the tired old formula of the genre to make important criticism about racial inequality. This is a movie will make you laugh, but it will also make you think. It isn’t an uncomfortable movie, but its message is real and important.
Kunla, Sean, and Carlos just want one night of epic partying in their last year of college. They decide to go on the blackout tour, a night where they hit all the biggest parties on campus. Their plans get complicated when they come home to discover a passed-out white girl in their living room. The optics don’t look good because they are men of color, and the young white girl is drunk and possibly drugged. They decide that the best course of action is to take her to the hospital so that she can get the help she needs. Unfortunately, this act of kindness leads to the worst night of their lives.
I love this movie. The acting is fantastic, and the chemistry the leads share is infectious. The story is phenomenal. This is a well-made movie.
Emergency differentiates itself from the rest of the genre through its unique narrative. The shenanigans and challenges the leads face during the night aren’t caused by drinking and partying but rather by their race. The characters are limited in what they can do because of the color of their skin. The movie does a fantastic job of contrasting what they are allowed to do against what the white students can. They can’t call the police or do much because they could be arrested or have their reputations destroyed. It is a difficult situation that they continue to be in because they are constantly facing challenges due to their race. The movie does a fantastic job of balancing the humor and messaging to make an effective narrative without it being preachy or difficult to watch. The intention of this movie isn’t to shame or guilt, but rather to share an important point of view that often gets ignored.
This movie became very real for me because it is an issue that I am familiar with. I am constantly being made aware of my race and am limited on what I can do because I have to always worry about the optics. Am I looking menacing when I am walking in the park playing Pokemon GO? Do I look like I am about to steal when I am shopping for groceries? These are just a few thoughts that go through my head on a daily basis. I have to constantly be adjusting how I present myself so that I don’t get in trouble for existing. It is a trauma I have always carried with me, and one that I will continue to carry.
This movie does a fantastic job of showing this trauma through a familiar narrative. I don’t mean to scare you or make you uncomfortable with my analysis. Emergency is a fantastic comedy, but it gets serious when it needs to. It is charming, funny, and a very refreshing take on a tired old genre. Check it out on Amazon if you have a Prime membership.
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