2007 Running time: 95 Certificate: 15 Rating: 2

Synopsis

Crash takes Short Cuts into The Twilight Zone in pop promo director Jieho Lee's directorial debut. Four strangers all looking for a way out of their lives intertwine as fate takes them on journeys they will never forget. A starry cast of interesting actors give it all they've got in this rollercoaster of emotion.

Director

  • Jieho Lee

Cast

  • Brendan Fraser

  • Kevin Bacon

  • Sarah Michelle Gellar

  • Forest Whitaker

  • Julie Delpy

  • Andy Garcia

  • Emile Hirsch

Review

Comprised of four episodes, The Air I Breathe is based on an Asian proverb breaking life into four emotions: Happiness, Sorrow, Pleasure and Love.

The audience is likely to experience Sorrow at the film's indulgence, Pleasure at the unintentional giggles, Happiness when the credits roll, and Love for the films ripped off, including GoodFellas, Go and Magnolia.

Forest Whitaker is an office dullard whose life of conformity has left him empty, save for a love of butterflies.

Overhearing a fixed racing tip he puts 50 Gs on the horse to win (named Butterfly), which falls, putting him in the hands of Fingers (Garcia), a gangster who liberates digits from his debtors.

Working for Fingers is a sad-eyed hitman (Fraser) cursed with an ability to see the future. He falls for Trista (Gellar), a pop star whose management has sold her to the vile gangster, and Fraser takes it upon himself to rescue his love.

Speaking of love, doctor Kevin Bacon is besotted with his best mate's wife (Delpy), so when she is bitten by a rattlesnake he has 24 hours to find a match for her rare blood group.

The Air I Breathe is not without its moments. Lee's restless direction has promise and the best sequence, Fraser taking Fingers' nephew (Speed Racer's Hirsch) on his nightly rounds debt-collecting, bristles with a vitality and (intentional) humour absent in every other scene.

Fraser's second sight plot gimmick shouldn't work but is surprisingly effective, particularly when it begins to fail him, and his dumb-charm style may make him a star yet.

Unfortunately, everything else chokes in a smog of over-baked acting and plot contrivances Days of Our Lives would balk at (of the handful of characters two share the same rare blood type), provoking howls of laughter (Gellar's father's demise is comic genius, the climactic wrap-up is preposterous and a cop-out).

Garcia recycles his Godfather III schtick, Whitaker literally takes the money and runs, Bacon's hyperactive twitching seems to be from another film, and Gellar must have required a saline drip to compensate for her serial sobbing.

Rarely has a film needed a hug so badly.

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