We gave it a B
Director’s cuts are often released to reinstate an auteur’s original vision after either a troubled production or disappointing theatrical run, so it’s curious to see a revised version of Crash, Paul Haggis’ well-received opus, just weeks after it was named Best Picture. Locating the wrinkles in this edition takes a diligent eye, as extended moments and additions — like Ryan Phillippe’s dutiful cop being ostracized in the station locker room — are modest.
EXTRAS In one of eight new deleted scenes, the two carjackers delay their getaway in order to steal a DVD from Brendan Fraser, a comic twist that happened in Haggis’ real-life experience. In another scene bridging the myriad L.A. stories, Fraser’s Latina housekeeper turns out to be the mother of detective Don Cheadle’s on- and off-duty partner (Jennifer Esposito). Three featurettes, including visits to L.A.’s Museum of Tolerance and interviews with local elected officials, preachily promote the film’s social importance, and most of Haggis’ commentary with Cheadle and co-writer Bobby Moresco is lifted from the original DVD. Only Crash-test dummies need upgrade.