This is a movie review of the 2009 movie Crossing Over starring Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd…
Plot Synopsis: Crossing Over is a multi-character canvas about immigrants of different nationalities struggling to achieve legal status in Los Angeles. Multiple character subplots are anchored by the story of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent named Max Brogan (Harrison Ford), who suffers a crisis of conscience after separating a Mexican woman from her son during a sting.
Me: Honeybee, there is nothing more poetic than watching a movie of seemingly independent multi-stranded plot lines carefully develop until they all neatly converge at the end into one tidy little story.
The Honeybee: I think Crash did a great job in that regard!
Me: You know, both Traffic and Babel were also great movies with multiple interlocking story lines bound together by a common theme.
The Honeybee: I think I know where you are going with this, so I’ll play the straight gal here – Len, did the multiple stories of Crossing Over wax poetic with you too?
Me: It did, but nowhere near as effectively as Traffic, Crash, or Babel. Which is too bad because, with actors like Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, and Ashley Judd, it had a powerhouse cast.
The Honeybee: Speaking of Ray Liotta… Last night you kept repeating during the movie how fat he was – you must have mentioned it at least ten times. Very annoying.
Me: Ray Liotta is fat! You don’t think so?
The Honeybee: I will say he’s not as sexy as he used to be, like when he starred in Field of Dreams.
Me: Ultimately, my problem with the movie had nothing to do with Ray Liotta. It’s that Crossing Over unsuccessfully tried to address the topic of illegal immigration with too many preachy heavy-handed stories of characters that either try to skirt the law or gain legal residency to the US via dubious means.
The Honeybee: I didn’t think the movie had too many story lines. I will admit I was a bit confused in the beginning watching all these seemingly unconnected subplots playing out, but I thought the writers tied everything up nicely at the end.
Me: I thought the writers really tried a bit too hard to make us feel sorry for these illegal aliens when they got deported – even though they broke the law by illegally entering the country in the first place. I for one was clapping and cheering when the illegal-immigrant family of a 15-year-old Muslim girl (Summer Bishil) was deported after an impassioned speech she gave to her classmates, arguing that the 9/11 hijackers had a point, was brought to the attention of the FBI.
The Honeybee: I thought the writer’s really did overplay the deportation of the girl’s family. Still, although not as good as Crash or Babel, I thought the movie was fairly decent.
Me: That doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement. Is this a “Buy” or “Sell” for you?
The Honeybee: It’s a tough call. I liked the movie as a rental, but I don’t think it would have been worth paying the extra money to see it at the theater. Is there a middle ground? Can I say “Rent?”
Me: You just did. As for me, I think this movie was a bit too preachy for me to be truly enjoyable – I say “Sell.” I also hope next time I see Ray Liotta, he’s lost a little weight. 😉
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