Emergency Review

PLOT: Ready for a night of legendary partying, three college students must weigh the pros and cons of calling the police when faced with an unexpected situation.

REVIEW: In a world of mediocre college movies, Emergency impresses right from the jump. There are few movies that can handle such biting (and topical) issues so masterfully and yet still feature such belly laughs. It plays off of fears, both common and uncommon, and provides for one of the better “party movies” out there.

Based on a short film with the same name, Emergency may be comedic but there’s an intense social commentary behind it all. Thankfully, everything occurs naturally and we’re never induced to any eye rolling “woke” tropes. The point is proven without getting too hammy, which I really appreciated. I won’t go too far into the plot here, because it’s definitely a film you need to see unfold with as little known as possible.

Despite the sometimes intense subject matter, Emergency is absolutely hilarious. I’m not sure if there’s a movie I’ve laughed at more in the last two years. The ridiculous nature of the events unfolding never goes into the world of unrealistic and, if anything, just add to the comedic effect. The fact that it tows this line so well is commendable. It’s satirical while never falling into the world of absurd. And a lot of that has to do with its great characters.

Donald Elise Watkins is absolutely phenomenal as Kunle. He gives such a wonderful performance that really shines by the end. He starts off very quiet and I wasn’t sure what to make of him, but he really impresses. RJ Cyler has been a standout in films like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Power Rangers, and here is no different. He’s both the comedic relief and the heart of the movie. Here’s hoping that this continues to propel his star forward. Sebastian Chacon stars as their friend and roommate, Carlos, and he provides for some truly fantastic moments. He’s such a lovable dork. I genuinely could spend a whole series with these three characters.


While Sabrina Carpenter is one of the more recognizable names in the cast, her character is the worst of the lot. She plays someone who isn’t quite aware of all her racial prejudices, despite the fact that she thinks she’s trying her best. I’m sure it will cause many people to take a look in the mirror. Better yet, her addition is likely to bring in even more eyeballs, though those fans may not like what they see.

While racial issues are certainly present, the most common theme present is friendship. The dynamic between Kunle, Sean, and Carlos is both relatable and entertaining. But Emergency is also about doing what’s right in the face of an impossible situation. These kinds of dilemmas always make for an interesting story, as it’s easy to put yourself in the characters’ shoes, and I’m sure it will make some people face their own biases and prejudices.

K.D. Dávila wrote the screenplay and she provides a layered story that features a huge payoff in its third act. It’s shocking that she doesn’t have more credits to her name as she delivers a very tight script. Every time I expected the movie to go down a familiar route, it ended up taking a unique approach. Nearly every setup is paid off and done so in a very satisfying way. Credit also goes to the director, Carey Williams, who shot an absolutely beautiful movie. Every frame has so much texture and energy, that the film is a breeze to get through.

In the end, Emergency provides a more satirical look at some really tough subject matter. This will likely open some eyes to the black experience by presenting it in such a digestible way. With stellar performances and absurdly slick cinematography, this is a massive win for Amazon Studios. Amongst the slew of films releasing to streaming services, this is one that is more than worth your time to seek out.

Emergency is available to stream on Amazon Prime TODAY!

RJ Cyler



About the Author

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Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on JoBlo.com, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.