Emergency

A new movie arrived on Amazon Prime at the end of May called Emergency, a coming-of-age comedy/drama that included plenty of topical situations.

Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) and Sean (RJ Cyler) are best friends in college and Kunle was very successful and hoped to be accepted to Princeton. Sean had gotten tickets to the “Legendary Tour,” a practice of visiting seven frat parties in one night, and he wanted Kunle and him to be the first black students to complete it.

On the night of the Legendary Tour, a white girl showed up drunk and unconscious on the floor of their house, thanks to their housemate, Carlos (Sebastian Chacon), leaving the door to the house open. Kunle and Sean debated about what to do. Kunle wanted to call the police, but Sean said that if the police showed up, they would blame the two black guys and the brown one for doing something to the white girl.

Kunle convinced Sean and Carlos into taking the white girl to the hospital, but things started going wrong almost immediately.

These three men wanted to help this girl, who we discover later was named Emma (Maddie Nichols), but the underlying worries, especially for Sean, that, despite that they have done nothing wrong, if the police get involved, they would be blamed for everything.

Meanwhile, Emma’s sister Maddie (Sabrina Carpenter) was looking for her high school sister, whom she took with her to a college party and left her alone to be with her friends. When she realized that Emma was missing, Maddie really begins to panic.

Emergency does a really good job of switching between the comedic situations that it has tossed its main characters into and the more serious, downright life and death discussions and situations that these characters are faced with. The tonal switch in the third act was very well done and took a film that had some wild coincidences mined for humor and turned it into a commentary on the state of racial divide in the country, how perceptions can be different depending on who is looking.

The performances were all really great. The interactions between Donald Elise Watkins and RJ Cyler were very funny and also brutally honest. I really liked Sebastian Chacon as the third wheel in this relationship and someone who was vital in what they are able to do.

I was really scared that this might end up tragic at the end, because it did feel as if the film was moving in that direction. I enjoyed the resolution to the film, a resolution that was filled with intensity and suspense.

3.85 stars

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