Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crossing Over

This is a immigration movie. I am surprised Hollywood has not done this before. It is amazing something we hear about all of the time has escaped the scripted writers computer keyboard. This movie was an original in a time where if it is not a sequel, it is just combination of a string of past movies, i.e Fighting.

Harrison Ford plays Max Brogan who is an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Lt. This is the first good movie Ford has played in since, I believe Air Force One which really was not that great either. He is paired up with Cliff Curtis who is his partner named Hamid Baraheri. Curtis was the villian in Collateral Damage and has been seen in other movies. He does not have to play the villian any more. He has moved up the latter. Good for him. He is a good actor.

Brogan is not a normal ICE Lt. nor employee for that matter. He really cares about the illegal immigrant, spends his own time tracking down illegal alien family members to help them out and even puts his own money down if that is required. He drives to Mexico on his own time to offer solace to downtrodden family members.

This movie has many characters and I thought it would be all tied together at the end. But it was not. Regardless, it was still a solid movie and linking all of the characters at the end was not necessary. It was not another Babel, every character had closure.

Ray Liotta is Cole Frankel who works for INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service). He sits in a cubicle and is an adjudication officer. I may not have that correct, his title could be a little different and sounded a lot cooler until they showed his tiny cubicle, small desk crowded up with older computer monitor clogging up most of the room allotted to him. It appears his wife makes most of the money since he is able to afford a nice new SUV. Alice Eve is gorgeous, she is one of the pretty faces in this film. Claire Shepard is her character's name and she is from New Zealand. She compounds a poor day by not checking traffic before pulling out in the lane. Cole hits her but it is her fault since he has the right away. Cole understands her sob story and decides to take her out to lunch. Albeit his reasons are not altruistic and obscure.

During the meal, Claire realizes that Cole is trying to hint that he can make her a legal citizen for sexual favors. Claire spends a lot of this movie on her back but is really disappointed when Cole calls it off and takes mysteriously off. This is not until a month has passed of her being his sex slave. He is not rough or abusive, but the role and act disgusts her.

Cole's wife is Ashley Judd. She is Denise Frankel. I mentioned her lucrative status already but did not explain too much more than that-or anything. Denise does not work for free but her heart is too make every human being on this planet an American citizen. She is a sick human being and does not realize that the USA is already over flowing with enough folks. America can not afford to house every unskilled worker who wants to come her. Financially, and culturally, it is not feasible. I am sure she should change her mind-momentarily-if she was physically attacked by an illegal alien. Denise has no doubt made it easier for violent illegal aliens to roam our streets. The movie takes place mostly in LA and this is known as a sanctionary city. It is not the only city in the US with this nafarious distinction, not even the only one in California.

The other pretty face is Summer Bishil. Taslima Jahangir is her character's name. I did not spend one second of this movie feeling sorry for her. Perhaps her family who she royally screwed. She chose to write a pro terrorist paper in her High School and the principal sent this to the FBI. She is basically a huge smart ass. Except the concept of smart was not included in her line of thinking. She did not realize that she is borderline illegal and so is her parents. In her paper she wrote that suicide bombers could be morally correct. She showd sympathy for the 9-11 suicide attackers. Part of the assignment was to present her paper to the class and she did this in a proud and attacking manner. The class was cursing her out, laughing, and mocking her. She wears the customary Muslim head scarf which attracts more attention. She chose to be controversial and stand out. Incredible, the people she is defending do not even believe she should be in school obtaining an education. All are dumb.

The authorities search her house legally and arrest her. Denise becomes involved and argues on her behalf. Denise also presents the terms to Taslima's parents. Option C is what they choose. One parent must return to Palestine with Taslima. This occurs at the end. Taslima is so smart she is stupid.

Denise drives Cole crazy when she proposed they adopt an African child who is homeless. Cole is content with Denise feeling passionate about her work, but adopting a child. He is upset but agrees to think about to make her feel happy. Cole wants to divorce Denise and pretty says this to Claire in their final meeting. Cole wants to start over with Claire, he wants to adopt her. Claire wants no part of that idea. She is not into Cole even if he chooses and could be really sweat to her. When INS raid Hamids lover's work place and finds fake identification cards of Claire-they pay a visit. She tells all when they ask. She receives a free flight home, back to New Zealand. Her dream of becoming a movie star goes up in flames. Atleast that path. Cole is arrested and Denise is shocked. Oh well, Cole was not too happy with his life any how. Prison could be worse but atleast he got into trouble over a pretty girl unlike Bill Clinton.

Hamid is Iranian. Hamid's sister does not act like an Iranian female. She has become Americanized. But her affair is not moral in any land. Hamid's brother kills their sister and her lover. Max figures this out but so does the LAPD. Hamid's brother goes by by during a naturalization service. He is arrested when the national anthem is being played. I like the detective's line, 'that is just unpatriotice." That is awesome. Now that family loses a second child. He was a successful lawyer.

Hamid knew about this and this appears to cost him his job. The movie does not really follow up on that which I am disappointed about.

Ford, with his hair combed backward, is holding up. Judd performs well. This movie is not dull in any scene and the classroom part with the American students laying in to that female muslim is hilarious and reassuring.

This movie passes muster. It reaches the summit and remains there. It presents the chaotic case America faces with all of the different cultures that it contains. They mention that people with special talent can obtain a Visa which is good to know. America needs to attract talented and gifted people. LA is accurately shown, probably the most diverse city in the world. The movie shows the pitfalls and precarious situation people are in. I feel sorry for them but with 310 million people in the USA already, immigration policy needs to change and not everyone should be granted citezenship. I do not believe someone who is born in the USA is automatically a citizen. Ireland cut that out, so should the USA. I do not care if they are an island, the USA is loaded with people. Some do not assimilate, mainly muslims. They should not be allowed to stay. We can not afford to allow untrustworthy people to live amongst us.

Hamid kills four gangster Koreans and saves another from throwing it all away. At the same time, he is about to throw his life. He is drinking and driving it away, luckily a gun battle sobers him up. That would sober most people up.

Too bad it did not work out for Claire. America can always make room for attractive people. She was not a lazy person, just struggling and worrying about everyone else in this world. She was hanging out with a borderline illegal lying Jewish young man. But she leaves him at the end as well, after she rightfully sold out Cole.

This movie was void of any decent music but some humor was tossed in. Interesting characters and outcomes. I did not know how it would end, it was intriguing. I was never really bored, not at all. Well written and shot. Duplicity was better though, and The International carries more weight as well.

I allocate this movie four stars.****

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