Seven stories involving immigration and customs enforcement officials are awkwardly fused together in this well-meaning but compromised drama in the Crash/Babel mode. Writer/director Wayne Kramer graduates from promising lightweight B-movies Running Scared and The Cooler here, but his full 140-minute cut was rejected by producer Harvey Weinstein and Sean Penn, with the star’s objections leading to his role being among the minutes removed.
What’s left features interlocking LA stories as agent Max Brogan (Harrison Ford) and his partner Hamid (Cliff Curtis) investigate what appears to be an honour killing. Meanwhile lawyer Denise Frankel (Ashley Judd) is trying to adopt an African child, unaware that her husband Cole (Ray Liotta) is using his power to award Green Cards to blackmail aspiring Aussie actress Claire (Alice Eve) for sex.
Throw in Jim Sturgess as Claire’s musician/ boyfriend who is pretending to be Jewish to gain citizenship, a convenience store shoot-out, and government persecution of a schoolgirl for making a speech indicating sympathy for the 9/11 bombers, and there’s plenty going on. But the torn-from-the-headlines issues are fudged, and while Crossing Over is never dull, it comes up lacking in any real depth or insight.
General release from Fri 17 Jul.