If Top Gun: Maverick is everything right about Hollywood, then Emergency is everything wrong about Hollywood. Both get nearly the same Rotten Tomatoes rating (97% vs 93%), yet the critics fail to see the perpetuation of stereotypes in the latter. Spoiler Alert: Because I’m about to go on a rant, beware of plot disclosures. Watching movies like Emergency portrays all blacks as dopers, all college kids as party animals, the police and whites as racist. If a black man tries to avoid weed, he is either an Oreo or “hiding in the bathroom” from his own race. When a white man wears a toga, he must be KKK. And, if “three brown guys” take an unconscious white girl to the hospital, they must dress like “substitute teachers,” certainly “no hoodies.”
Three college kids, about to graduate, find a young girl passed out in their apartment. Despite advanced degrees, the discussed options are: 1. Dump unconscious girl outside a frat party. 2: Call 911. 3. Let her sleep it off. 4. Take her to the hospital. Since she is of a different racial make-up, and the apartment reeks of marijuana, Sean will not let Kunle call 911. So, it’s off we go on a series of misadventures to unload the white girl without getting arrested and shot. Meanwhile, Maddy, realizes that she hasn’t seen her high school sister, Emma, in over two hours, last known to be playing beer pong. “Freaking out”, fellow partiers Alice and Rafael, try to find her using “Find My Phone.” Filled with profanity and drugs, I give Emergency 2.0 Gavels and note a more realistic 6.0/10 IMDb score, still too high.
Two months from graduation, Sean and Kunle aim to be the first blacks to complete the Legendary Tour, seven parties in one night. Neither particularly want roommate Carlos to tag along; he still wears a fanny pack and plays video games. Finding Emma on the floor causes a major change in plans. Chased by frat boys, spotted by Neighborhood Watch, spurned by a cousin on parole, and accused of kidnapping, the trio’s friendship is put to the test.
Again, as stereotypes, RJ Cyler and Donald Elise Watkins, fulfill their roles nicely as Sean and Kunle. The obvious question is what would Kunle do if the situation repeated itself? If I am in a vehicle the police think holds a kidnapped girl, with a report of violence, failure to stop on command, then found pounding on her chest, should I expect to be thrown out of the car at gunpoint? Told to “call the pros next time,” will Kunle do so? Was he right to slam the door in the face of the apologetic Maddy? Sebastion Chacon and Sabrina Carpenter were both way over-the top as Carlos and Maddy, nearly unbelievable.
Emergency opens with Sean and Kunle in a class called Blasphemy and Taboos, odd especially for Kunle’s advanced science background. The scene adds nothing to the plot except to allow the use of the N word ad nauseum. If you want to stir up racism, the producers get off to a roaring start.
“I found the people repulsive. Even the ones who are supposed to be good are repulsive… when they still don’t do the right thing at times, the movie pats itself on the back.” Fat Guy at the Movies
“There’s just enough story and humor here for a SNL skit. Not much more.” National Newspaper Publishers Association
Find Emergency, or not, on Amazon Prime. Some critics portray the 105 minute film as a satire. I found it sad.