Emergency Trailer: A Dark College Comedy With A Timely Edge

Another Sundance favorite is making its way to wider audiences, and this one looks like intense. "Emergency" follows two college best friends, both Black, as they attempt to help an unconscious girl they find in their apartment without calling the police. It's an interesting premise for a serious thriller or drama, but "Emergency" throws a major curveball from the start: it's actually a comedy. Check out the first trailer below.

The idea for "Emergency" comes from a short film directed by Carey Williams ("R#J") and written by K.D. Dávila ("Motherland: Fort Salem"). The short won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance in 2018, and the pair have now developed it into a feature that's set to be released on Prime Video this month. "The Underground Railroad" actor Donald Elise Watkins plays Kunle, the nerdier, more buttoned-up (literally, he's partying in a dress shirt) half of the pair who tries to bring up statistics in the middle of a crisis. "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" star RJ Cyler plays Sean, the weed-toking other half of the dynamic duo who proposes an historic night of partying before the pair graduates college.

It's not your typical college comedy

It's a premise that was already timely in 2018, but four years later, a narrative built around finding a solution to an emergency without calling the police is more relevant than ever. "The cops are not gonna listen," Sean says when he, Kunle, and their roommate Carlos ("Penny Dreadful: City of Angels" actor Sebastian Chacon) stumble upon what seems to be a passed out partier in their home. "They're just gonna come in here and see three brown guys hanging over this little white girl."

As dead serious as the issues of police brutality and racism are, "Ambulance" looks like it'll mostly take the form of a college comedy, albeit one with a dark premise. It's one of those one-wild-night stories, only the wild night in question involves trying to get this stranger to a hospital without alerting the police, all while her sister, Maddy ("Girl Meets World" actress Sabrina Carpenter) attempts to track her down.

/Film's own Sundance review for the film, written by Ethan Anderton, explains that the movie skillfully juggles its comedy and the underlying intensity, saying that "K.D. Da'Vila's script and Carey Williams' direction carefully balances sharply funny dialogue and multiple mishaps brought about by a stressful situation with a sense of dramatic urgency that never feels undercut by the comedy."

"Emergency" will be available in select theaters on May 20, 2022, and will stream on Prime Video beginning on May 27, 2022.