Director Carey Williams new film, Emergency (2022), which is written by K.D. Dávila, pulls from a variety of sources to create a comedy film that is genuinely funny while also offering biting commentary about the world we find ourselves living in. Elements of this movie reminded me of Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004), Superbad (2007), The World’s End (2013), and Blindspotting (2018). The film will be available to watch on Amazon Prime starting on May 27, 2022, and is definitely worth your time.
Sean (RJ Cyler) and Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) are about to graduate college, but they have plans to leave their mark. The two are going to be put on the “wall of firsts” for completing a legendary night of partying by hitting all of the major campus events. However, when they stop by their house to get ready and see their roommate Carlos (Sebastian Chacon), they find a white girl passed out in their living room. With no idea who she is or what’s wrong with her, Sean and Kunle try to figure out what the best course of action will be to not ruin their night…and their lives.
Cyler has been a strong comedic presence since he broke out in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015). His timing and knowledge of his strengths have only gotten better with each film and in Emergency he really finds his lane. He is able to give some genuine laugh-out-loud moments while also bringing some real heart and gravity to other scenes. The chemistry between him and Watkins is essential to many moments, as these types of buddy comedies require. Watkins has demonstrated strong dramatic ability in the past, and he brings a lot of pathos to this film. You truly feel for him when the panic sets in that his whole future might be falling through his fingers at any moment.
It’s a hard tight rope walk to balance tones of comedy and hard-hitting social commentary. Blindspotting was one of the best films to do this recently, and while Emergency isn’t quite as strong it definitely feels close in terms of tone. The early parts of the film are sheer buddy comedy and even as the film dives deeper into the drama Williams and Dávila find moments to lighten the mood to not completely bury the audience is anxiety. Yet, the tension they build never totally subsides. There is always a sense of unease as the plot inches forward and culminates in the end.
Emergency is prescient and entertaining making it a clear Must See film to anyone with Amazon Prime. There are great performances and signs of a director to watch out for in this film. It’s not surprising that people were talking this film up after Sundance much like Blindspotting a few years before.