If Robert Altman could see the crimes being perpetrated in the name of his beloved ensemble-movie format, he’d rise up from the dead and remake Popeye. Crossing Over isn’t set in the Los Angeles of Altman’s Short Cuts – wry, desperate and rich. This is the vaguely Third World megalopolis of Paul Haggis’s liberal-panicked Crash, into which screenwriters toss a bunch of civically challenged characters and watch the fur fly, occasionally cutting to a forlorn shot of a freeway. Oh, the horror: blonde Australian soap actresses are forced to sleep with reptilian immigration officers.

Young Muslim extremists deliver inflammatory book reports in class and run off crying. Stoic border officers straddle the line between Western redneck and bleeding-heart interventionist. That last type is played by Harrison Ford – call it the Tommy Lee Jones role. Does another actor more thoroughly puncture a movie’s purported humanism than Ford? It’s been years now, and he still can’t get over his presidential butt-kicking thing. In Crossing Over, Ford mutters and clenches his jaw. ‘Well, if you need someone to talk it through with…,’ he tells a longtime colleague mourning the death of a sister. Talk it through? With the replicant?

Because this kind of shameless creeping-thermometer movie demands catastrophic consequences, there’s a convenience-store hold-up, some familial bloodshed and a deportation or two. Several characters tell lies; some get second chances. All in a day’s work? Movies like Crossing Over and Babel aren’t cultural indictments (that requires focus) so much as soft-headed shrugs. Let this be the last of a kind of cloying, paranoid cinema we should all be sick and tired of.

Crossing Over

Genre: Drama
Duration: 113 mintues
Released: Mar 5th
Director: Wayne Kramer
Stars: Harrison Ford, Cliff Curtis, Ashley Judd, Sean Penn, Ray Liotta, Alicia Braga, Alice Eve, Jim Sturgess
Language: English
Classification: 15+
Crossing Over https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_Over_(film)
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