Billed as a comedy thriller, Emergency is an interesting beast of a movie. A slow burner that sets you up thinking you are getting one type of movie and then pivots into something entirely different which catches you unawares creating a deeply satisfying experience.
After an epic night of partying, three college students return home to find a woman unconscious in their apartment. Worried the police will suspect them of wrongdoing, they try to get the woman to safety without drawing suspicion.
Anchored by a majestic performance from Donald Elise Watkins as Kunle, Emergency sets you up thinking you are about to get a frat boy comedy on a epic run of sorority houses in one night and then in a blink of a eye, it turns into something a whole lot more. It’s wryly amusing to begin with and then even during the drama that unfolds you’ll have a smile during certain situations, however as the dawn of realisation hits of what is unfolding you realise what an excellent job director Carey Williams does in slowly pulling the curtain back to reveal the films opulent underbelly and real story.
The supporting cast (RJ Cyler, Sebastian Chacon, Sabrina Carpenter, Maddison Nichols, Maddison Thompson & Diego Abraham) are all superb as they try to get to their real destination in time before tragedy strikes. As the comedy ebbs away the drama ratchets up to boiling point, you find yourself slowly getting more and more anxious as our cast try as they can, but find themselves going one step forward with two steps back.
With no really big set pieces to sell the story, which in actuality it doesn’t require, the films biggest problem could be in the way it is sold to audiences. Because if they think they are coming in for a laugh a minute frat boy comedy, they will leave disappointed.
But where Emergency really strikes is in the denouement, after the film is tidying up all the strings, a simple sound effect simply leaves you stunned as the films final image stays with you long beyond the end of the credits.
Emergency is getting a brief (One week) cinema run followed by a release on Prime Video, it’s one you should definitely seek out wherever you can. Go in with your expectations metered and you will be rewarded with one of the cleverest dramas of the year.
Emergency is in Cinemas on 20th May & Prime Video 27th May