Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Falling Down (1993)

Director: Joel Schumacher

Writer: Ebbe Roe Smith

Composer: James Newton Howard

Starring: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey, Rachel Ticotin, Tuesday Weld, Frederic Forrest, Lois Smith, Joey Hope Singer, Raymond J. Barry, D.W. Lydecker, Steve Park, John Fleck, Brent Hinkley, Dedee Pfeiffer, Jack Betts, Al Mancini, John Diehl

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The adventures of an ordinary man at war with the everyday world.

Plot: An unemployed defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Probably not

I haven't seen this since it came out and my opinion hasn't changed.  It's a good movie but with missed opportunities.  Too many people react to Bill (Douglas) in the way that suits the plot and how he needs them to so that he can prove his point.  The construction worker in the park and on the street for example.  They're unnecessarily rude as if to go out of their way to be mean spirited.  The rocket launcher scene was unrealistic and over the top.  The fast food restaurant scene is messed up.  Bill wants breakfast but they stopped serving breakfast two minutes earlier and the manager refuses to serve him.  Yet minutes later, once the manager gives in because Bill's busted out the machine gun, he instructs the employee to give him what he wants and she merely turns around and takes one of many boxes under a heat lamp and hands it to him.  Really?  The food was already there but he was going to refuse it to him?  I guess my disappointment in this picture is that there is a really good, hard-biting story buried in this Hollywood treatment of it. I love Douglas but here he's not always convincing as someone who's lost their marbles like he's supposed to have.  On the flipside, Pendergast (Duvall) works nicely.  You can see his arc, you know what he's thinking and he's a lot more grounded in reality.   The story is easy and topical enough that it could be remade every generation.  The Warner Bros. DVD has a nice print and only a trailer for an extras (both anamorphic widescreen).

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