868. Falling Down

Title: Falling Down
Director: Joel Schumacher
Year: 1993
Run time: 1hr 53m

“Academy Award-winners Michael Douglas and Robert Duvall star with Emmy-winner and Oscar-nominee Barbara Hershey in this action-drama about a man’s odyssey into madness, prompted by the effects of modern city life. It follows two ordinary men: a laid-off defence worker driven beyond frustration in an endless traffic jam now on a path of violence and potential self destruction, and an LAPD detective, only hours away from retirement who is determined to find him and stop his vigilante acts.”

Live blog

3:00 – The beeping of horns in traffic jams is annoying. Like people are just sitting there for fun.
7:03 – This is an interesting premise… what is going to sustain a whole film of this?
11:23 – 85 cents is really cheap, he’d freak out worse than ever if he existed now.
19:05 – “What do you call that?” “Graffiti?”
21:33 – He’s not scared of anything! I guess toting a baseball bat gives you some confidence.
27:57 – Not a scratch on him! He’s like The Terminator or something.
29:33 – He’s upgrading his weapons like Lara does!
38:03 – “I haven’t eaten for three days,” he says, holding a burger.
41:33 – Womelette!
44:05 – I really like Sheila.
52:36 – “I think it’s out of order.”
1:02:18 – That is one really unpleasant man.
1:07:42 – “I don’t trust a man who doesn’t curse.”
1:10:45 – Using Apollo 13 as your reference for life is… a choice.
1:13:21 – She said not to squirt the gun in the house, kid!
1:21:40 – “And now you’re gonna die wearing that stupid little hat.”
1:34:07 – The longer the name, the harder the cake decorations are.
1:37:57 – WHY WOULD SHE GO ON THE PIER???
1:46:27 – I think health and safety need to have a look at those rails.
1:50:04 – The credits on this. “Woman who throws up” and “guy behind woman driver”.

Conclusions

This was an interesting one. I always feel a bit weird about films where it’s not totally clear who you should be rooting for – or in this instance whether the bad guy is really all that bad or not. It’s good to have a bit of nuance, but it always leaves me wondering how I feel about what I’ve seen.

The other part I felt worth mentioning was that although you’d imagine Duvall’s detective was the good guy, the way he treated his wife was suspect. She seemed to be suffering some kind of PTSD or grief-related anxiety, and he could do nothing except indulge her or shout at her. Maybe it’s just because the movie is over twenty years old now, but that didn’t seem fair to me.

Otherwise, though, I liked it. Good tension (if the music a little overdramatic), an unpredictable and unique story that unwound gradually to build the suspense. It worries me that Mr C spent quite a lot of the time saying how he related to Bill but hey, I’ll keep an eye on that!

Rating: 3/5