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Movie Review: Emergency (2022)


Movie Review: Emergency (2022)

Plot: It’s not what it looks like.

Ready for a night of legendary partying, three college students must weigh the pros and cons of calling the police when faced with an unexpected situation.

Review: The film, adapted from the 2018 Sundance short by screenwriter KD Dávila and director Carey Williams with distribution by Amazon, opens in party comedy mode: best friends Kunle and Sean determined to become the first Black students at fictional Buchanan College to complete a “legendary tour” of exclusive frat parties. The two; Kunle the strait-laced and straight-A striver studying biology (the “Barack Obama of fungus”, Sean ribs), Sean the laid-back stoner with zero future plan but a tight party schedule.

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When the two return home to pre-game and find a white girl passed out facedown in their living room, Kunle, the voice of reason, suggests they call 911. Sean, stoned and buzzed, balks at calling authorities. Two Black guys and their stoner Mexican-American roommate Carlos with an unconscious blonde girl in a house that reeks of weed? What are the odds they’ll be believed? The specter of police misreading a situation to potentially dangerous ends is a Chekhov’s gun – the more strenuously the trio tries to avoid it through increasingly paranoid but well-intentioned means, the more they court suspicion and reason to find themselves apprehended by officers likely to afford them the least possible generosity.

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Compounding the risk is Maddy, a ticking time bomb of concern, self-absorption and explosive indignation, looking for her lost sister Emma with friend Alice, who is white, and Alice’s white-passing party crush succinctly described as “from my Arab-Israeli conflict seminar!” Dávila’s script and Williams’s tight direction deftly render the group as both a lifeline on a collision course with the boys, and a trap – their concern is legitimate, their biases dangerous.

Emergency toggles between styles, from playful to suspenseful and back, but Kunle and Sean remain consistent anchors throughout, as two young men carrying the weight of prejudices but buoyed up by a different inescapable, mutable force: a best friendship in flux but in no need of a 911 call.

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Rating: 6.5/10

Release date: May 27, 2022 (United State)

Country of Origin: United States

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller

Language: English

Stars: Donald Watkins, RJ Cyler, Sebastian Chacon, Sabrina Carpenter

Director: Carey Williams

Writer: K.D. Davila.

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