Crossing Over (DVD Review)29 May, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Box Office $0.5 million
Rated ‘R’ for pervasive language, some strong violence and sexuality/nudity.
Stars Harrison Ford, Ashley Judd, Ray Liotta, Jim Sturgess, Cliff Curtis, Alice Braga.
The politics of immigration in a post-9/11 United States has become a messy business, often meting out its own unique brand of justice — and terror.
Through a series of multiculture vignettes, Crossing Over explores the lengths to which some people will go for a chance at the American dream, and the depravity of others to control that access or abuse the privilege.
Veteran immigration agent Max Brogan (a weathered Harrison Ford in a refreshing departure from Indiana Jones fluff) has developed empathy for the very people he must catch and deport, including a young Mexican mother (Alice Braga) and her displaced son.
His Iranian partner, Hamid (New Zealander Cliff Curtis of Whale Rider), is torn by family shame over the actions of a rebellious and sexually overt daughter (Melody Khazae).
Ray Liotta plays Cole Frankel, a slightly unscrupulous green card adjudicator, who, after being accidentally crashed into by Claire Shepard (Alice Eve), a buxom aspiring Aussie actress, believes the perfect recourse is to force her to have sex with him for two months in exchange for a green card.
Frankel, of course, is married to Denise, (an unglamorous Ashley Judd), an immigration lawyer fighting to keep an orphaned Nigerian child from being returned to chaos back home.
Shepard’s musically talented and marginally Jewish boyfriend (Jim Sturgess from 21 and Across the Universe) is disgusted by the sordid quid pro quo.
Summer Bishil (in a slightly overwrought performance) plays an ideologically naïve Muslim teen whose school paper expressing understanding (not support) for the 9/11 hijackers, generates unintended consequences.
If your tastes run toward the sentimental Crash and Babel fare, Crossing Over supplies emotional overdrive.