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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Reckless, but not Wretched
on 7 February 2012
This film is creepy and in some ways both shocking and sanitised. By coincidence, I happened to watch this for the first time during the same week I saw an "X-Files" episode about the aftermath of a car accident. The latter contained more gruesome injuries and more pain. There was also a frightening plot about the afterlife.
Contrast this with James Ballard, the hero/anti-hero of "Crash" (as opposed to the original James Ballard, ie the late J G Ballard, who wrote the original novel). Although Ballard suffers scarring, he still looks good. Okay, he is played by James Spader, so it would be hard for him not to ... but there is a lot they could have done with prosthetics if they had wanted to alarm the audience. Although Ballard's leg injury causes him to limp, the pain from it does not appear to blight his life or diminish his sexual appetite.
And (the fictional) Ballard clearly does not think he is on his way to eternal damnation, however much damage he might cause to other road users. (The initial crash which lands him in hospital was caused by sheer carelessness on his part, and a man is killed.)
The book also contains a great many references to various bodily fluids and the film does not reflect this.
I find it ironic that a lot of the controversy surrounding the film centred on the fact that Rosanna Arquette's character, Gabrielle, had leg injuries but was depicted having sex. Why on Earth was this any more "offensive" than anything else? It is not as if her character is portrayed as suffering any mental impairment which would affect her ability to give consent.
I would have given this four out of 5, but I am taking off a point because of the dog. I don't think they used the corpse of a real dog, but (if this is so), Cronenberg should have stated that in the end credits.
As a rough guide, if you weren't repulsed by "Trainspotting", you should be fine watching this.
Despite all this, I found scenes from the film staying in my memory, and not in an unpleasant way. The music, by Howard Shore, is probably the most undeniably brilliant part of the film. It somehow combines something very organic with a very mechanical sound. It made me think, "This is what the heartbeat of a cyborg would sound like".
At the end of the day, this is a work of fiction. There were many stunt drivers employed (quite possibly more than just those listed in the credits), because the cast didn't actually want to get injured in real life.