CROSSING OVER —★1/2 — Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, Cliff Curtis; rated R (profanity, violence, vulgarity, slurs, nudity, brief sex, brief gore, brief drugs); Broadway Centre
If you thought the Oscar-winning 2004 drama "Crash" was heavy-handed, just wait until you see "Crossing Over."
This tale about illegal immigrants tries to examine cultural issues from a variety of viewpoints, much in the same way that Paul Haggis' divisive — and drastically overrated — multicharacter study did.
However, this particular feature is so punishingly slow and so clumsy in the way it looks at these issues that it might make you look more kindly on that earlier movie.
Perhaps these filmmakers should have called the movie "Thud" instead, since it's such a cinematic cousin to "Crash."
Harrison Ford stars as Max Brogan, a veteran immigration officer for the LAPD.
He's become a little burned out, and his fellow officers think he's "soft." Especially when he takes an interest in one of the illegals he's caught.
She's Mireya Sanchez (Alice Braga), who pleads with Brogan to make sure her young son, Juan (Aramis Knight), is taken care of.
Meanwhile, Max's partner, Hamid Baraheri (Cliff Curtis), has his hands full as he tries to keep his black-sheep sister (Melody Khazae) out of trouble.
Married couple Cole and Denise Frankel (Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd) also find themselves drawn into the immigration morass. She's an attorney who's trying to find a foster mother for a young orphan girl (Ogechi Egonu). He's a governmental employee who's trying to use his influence to get a green card for a beautiful, would-be starlet from Australia, Claire Shepard (Alice Eve).
There's already enough going on here as it is, but screenwriter/director Wayne Kramer ("The Cooler") also throws in story threads about Claire's musician boyfriend (Jim Sturgess), who's pretending to be a Judaism student, as well as bits about Middle Eastern and Korean families.
It would help if we cared about any of these characters. The only thing that really holds our interest is Ford's story line, and it's given short shrift.
"Crossing Over" is rated R and features strong sexual language (profanity, slang terms and other frank sex talk), some strong violent action (vehicular mayhem, gunplay and shootings), derogatory slurs and language based on nationality and ethnic origins, female nudity, brief sex and other sexual contact (mostly implied or overheard), some brief gore and blood, and brief drug use (marijuana). Running time: 113 minutes.
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