Based on the short of the same name, Emergency expands on the short with a handful of changes helping the subject at hand be more palatable to the masses.

The premise, two BFF college-aged black men come home to find a passed-out white girl on their floor. Their Mexican roommate, Carlos, is in his room playing video games with no idea she is out there. The question is, what do they do? Can these 3 men trust to call the cops? Will they become part of a terrifyingly high statistic if they do?

In the Emergency short, Kunle, Sean, and Carlos’s friend, Luis, comes over to their house. They use his passing whiteness to call the cops and get the girl safely to the hospital. However, in the film, things don’t go that smoothly. 


While the basic premise of Emergency the film is the same, how it’s executed is different. After they unanimously decided not to call the police, the boys formulate a plan to get the girl to safety. However, something goes wrong at every turn making the film into this road trip, buddy, comedy grounded by the boys’ real fear of being caught in a fatal misunderstanding.

First, they’re taking her to a party with lots of people to be found. After that goes horribly wrong, they finally decide to take her to the hospital because they can say she’s was at that party. Unfortunately, they notice a tale light in the car was busted by the party and now fear being pulled over

The film even uses white guilt and racial bias to nail the point on the head. Louis is still in the film, but this time he’s a buddy to the girls on the hunt for Emma (the passed-out girl). 


On top of making a bigger point, Emergency is able to flesh out these main characters more Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins), Sean (RJ Cyler), and Carlos (Sebastian Chacon) are best friends and college roommates. Carlos is a pothead, but also a rocket scientist who’s already ready with a granola bar. Kunle is incredibly smart, working on his thesis and heading to Princeton in the fall. Sean, while also incredibly smart, squanders his education by holding onto his tumultuous past. This leads to an incredibly heated blowout fight, as well as a heartfelt makeup between the two in the end.

Sabrina Carpenter and Maidson Thompson create new characters, Maddie and Alice. Two college party girls who don’t want to hang out with Maddie’s sister, Emma, who’s still in high school. However, once she goes missing they use Find My Friends in order to track Emma’s found and hunt the boys down. Louis is now Rafael (Diego Abraham) who is tagging along with the girls using fake bravado in order to hook up with Alice.

Having these two points of view allows the viewers to feel the realness of the situation, as well as the hilarious extremes. 


While Emergency is based on real tragedies, true fears, and racism the film requires a little suspension of disbelief. 

Every choice the boys make is worse than the next. For example, in order to avoid being pulled over, the boys drive through the woods. So, when Maddie, Alice, and Rafael finally catch up to them all Maddie sees are 3 men putting her passed-out sister in a car. However, the crossing of paths and their eventual run-in with the police is where the film truly shines. 

In the end, lessons are learned all over the board no matter which character it involves. Will the lessons in Emergency reach those they hope to? I’m not sure. However, it’s still worth a watch. 

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