Crash 2004, the rape scene and the ending bugged me

I never saw much discussion about this anywhere, but it really bugged me.

The scene where the racist cop played by Matt Dillon is raping/sexually assaulting the wife is kind of vague, it looks like he is just groping her outside her clothes from what the audience sees. But later when she and her husband are fighting over his failure to protect her she says she was “finger fucked” and her trauma suggests its true, that the cop raped a woman based on her race in front of her husband.

Then the ending clearly is meant by the film makers to redeem the character, he saves the same woman he raped from a burning car with suitable heroic poses and music as he carries her to safety. You see? He’s not so bad after all! Why his partner who had the audacity to object to a racially motivated rape is the real racist, he shoots an innocent guy based on prejudice!


I want to make clear here I have no objection to morally objectionable actions by fictional characters, what I hated was how it seemed the film makers wanted the audience to view the character as redeemed and not so bad afterall.

Sorry guys not buying it.

IMO you missed the exact point that the movie was trying to make. The real world, and the people and incidents that populate it, are complex. The movie is just trying to explore some of that gray without making any of the snap judgments that you’ve passed.

I hated that woman’s husband more than anything. God, I HATED him.

No the film makers could have used much more subtle techniques in that case to suggest a neutral viewpoint, and remember all the characters are being compared and contrasted.

What bugged me was the idea the film was trying to sell that the cop had become some kind of hero and redeemed himself, I don’t want to be told what to think about morally gray characters.

Jesus what an asshole he was. Turn your wife’s trauma into a whiny-ass meltdown of your own. Grow the fuck up.

And I agree with the OP about the cop’s ‘redemption’ at the end. It was played far too standard “heroic rescue” for it to sit well with me or show the complexity the film’s apologists claim for it. In the real world of moral gray areas, one heroic action doesn’t just wipe out prior bad acts - both still exist. The same events could have been shot and edited differently, without the hero shots and it would have been a ot more effective for me.

Some previous threads you might enjoy.
Crash: Deserving of Best Picture?


Crash: Did I Miss Something?

Crash:Good Stuff… But I’ve Got a Few Questions

Crash Sucked – Nothing to Do with Brokeback Mountain

This is what happened.

The wife is understandably outraged and upset and is using hyperbole to make her husband take action.

As bldysabba point out, you’re missing the point of the movie, which, among other things, is that a person is not purely binary. How you act or react is a part of the situation.

The cop felt up the woman because his father was dying and he was upset at the black woman who wouldn’t help (though we didn’t find that out until later). But he wasn’t purely racist overall and was willing to risk his life to save a black woman (the fact that it was the woman he molested merely ramped up what was at stake).

The contrast was also being made from the one cop, who made racist remarks but when push came to shove, saved the black woman’s life, and the other cop, who called the first on his racism, yet shot an innocent man because of his own.

Life is complicated. People change. And those who don’t understand this hate the move.

Life is complicated. People change. And those who don’t understand that everyone in the world already knows this, don’t understand that some people prefer films where the characters’ personalities drive the plot, rather than where the characters personalities exist only to teach simplistic moral lessons.

And one simplistic moral lesson would be that the racist cop was ‘redeemed’ at the end. He wasn’t. He was still an asshole, but he did a good thing. Or he was a good person who acted like an asshole a lot of the time.

The answer to most questions about the film Crash is that Crash is an absolutely horrible movie. The whole film is just an endless stream of random cliche racist rants and absurd, unrealistic situations convolutedly tied together. It tried to be gritty and topical, but it just wound up being cheesey. I don’t understand what anybody sees in this film.

If you want a gritty, no holds barred examination of contemporary racism, American History X did it much better than Crash.

A lot of films tie together seemingly unrelated plot lines, but off the top of my head, Pulp Fiction, and Go (1999) did it much better than Crash.

The list of films that examine how a person is capable of doing both good and bad things is nearly endless, so I’ll only note that Crash did a very poor job of doing this.

This. We were watching it in some class I was in and at one point I laughed out loud at the over-the-top absurdity of it. LOOK AT ME! I’M A DRAMA!

Just re-watched this and I thought I’d post this question here.

In the scene where Ryan Phillipe shoots Larenz Tate, Tate takes his idol out of his pocket and appears to slam it down. After the shot, it’s still in his closed hand. Plus Phillipe was awfully slow to react to a perceived threat. Tate had the drop on him if he had had a gun instead of the idol.

Anybody else notice this?