SUNDANCE REVIEW – “Emergency”
Emergency follows the story of straight-A, by the books college student Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) and his laid-back best friend Sean (RJ Cyler) who are gearing up to have the best night of their lives. They’ve calculated the perfect plan to be their schools’ first black students to ever accomplish the legendary frat party tour, and go into town the second they can push their responsibilities aside. On the way home for a pit-stop before they start to party, they find a white girl that neither of them know passed out on the floor.
The two friends debate for a bit about what the “right thing to do” is and it’s evident from the get-go that they have completely different perspectives and ideologies. This makes for an interesting foil for the rest of the film. The film starts as an extremely entertaining, Superbad-esque comedy and spirals into a really sticky moral dilemma with dark comedy laced throughout.
Director Carey Williams does a phenomenal job at balancing all these tricky subject matters with some really sharp and truly funny material. The film isn’t necessarily the most biting piece of politically-touchy stuff you’ll see, but it feels like it comes from a really honest place.
However, it’s really the chemistry between the two leads that sells the entire movie. If they weren’t believable as friends, the entire film would fall apart. And thankfully even when the movie seems to be a bit overlong towards the end, it’s their performances and chemistry that keeps it moving. Emergency is an insightful, funny, and surprisingly layered comedy that I highly recommend.