Clicky

REVIEW: Falling Down (1993) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Falling Down (1993)

 

I’m not really a fan of Michael Douglas. He’s always playing some rich asshole, like he even revels in the type of role. Wall St, Wall St again, The Game, A Perfect Murder, Don’t say a Word, Disclosure. In all of these movies he’s a pompous bastard, even as a victim. The one time he does play a white collar worker (God forbid he plays a blue-collar worker) gone nuts, it’s hard not to root for even Michael Douglas.

There’s a good story in there, Douglas is ‘over educated, under-skilled’ and since the Cold War has ended, he’s become obsolete. Yes, it’s (kinda) neat commentary, but if you say that’s why you’re a fan of this movie, you’re a liar. Duvall the easy-going nemesis is hot on his trail. Guess what? Duvall plays – you guessed it, Robert Duvall! But Duvall is not why people enjoy this film either, this is a joyride disguised as a psychological thriller.

I mean, seriously, who gives a shit what drove D-Fens nuts. Let’s not get pretentious and try to over analyse motives or try to profile the man. We all get pissed and stressed and there’s always certain elements of society who just don’t help and irritate the fuck out of us. The main selling point of this movie is how D-Fens lets rip and acts out our fantasies on-screen. Stuck in traffic? Just walk away. The asshole talking shit from the other car? Just knock him out. Shit, just pull a TEC-9 on those greasy teens serving fast food.

Schumacher knew the deal, that’s why there’s plenty of these incidents coming non-stop. I love how D-Fens’ arsenal grows with each confrontation too. He starts out with a baseball bat and ends up with a LAW rocket launcher (“The realll fucking thinnggg, heat-seaker it’s fucking disposable”). Although I’m not sure the ‘real fucking thing’ is actually guidance-capable. Check out the nod to Beverly Hills Cop II by the way with that too.

But it’s not just scumbag gangbangers who feel the wrath of the nut. D-Fens has room to give old millionaire bastards wearing ‘stupid little hats’ a lesson on humility too and, of course, a sawn-off Remington will always help get your point across. It’s jam packed with one-liners and even half-liners too: “I don’t like men who don’t curse. Not one fuck, or shit” This is a great movie and again, it’s wise enough to concentrate on what works and let the subtext do its own thing. But I can’t help but feel it would’ve been even better with someone else as D-Fens. I thought, what about Nicolas Cage? That guy would’ve eaten this thing up – maybe trolling too hard even for Cage. But the story has an older obsolete Cold War weapons engineer. I would’ve cast Michael Keaton. It’s a role almost written for him. It would’ve just worked better but honestly, it’s more than fine with Douglas, his best role for sure.

I guess they’ll remake this someday, especially with the current economic climate. Would it work? Probably not.

10

  • jim

    Schumacher’s a fag …and it shows.The film has that fussy over designed eighties look which does not suit the material. Bevery Hills goes slumming …but I like the film. Duvall plays a stoic type who puts up with a worthless whining wife…because that is what men do..Douglas does the angry white male thing very well, though the finger wagging finale is a mistake..In truth,the Douglas character is a completely reasonable and rational man. Everything he does make perfect sense.It would have been a better film if the director had the wit to develop a kind of mirror image between the two leads…Duval’s character should understand why Douglas does what he does and perhaps might see himself doing the same thing one day. A fag director like Schumacher can’t see this of course. Peckinpah would have known how these guys felt.I know I do.

    • Mainline DnB

      Always wondered what this film would be like if it was directed by Walter Hill.

      • jim

        He’d have been my choice too..By the nineties everyone else was dead.

  • Andymovieman

    Joel Schumacher’s best work par to St. Elmo’s fire, cousins, batman forever, bad company, etc. The music from James Newton Howard was as amazing as his music in the fugitive made the same year which was produced by Arnold kopelson who produced this film. Ironically michael Douglas was considered to play Richard Kimble in the fugitive which went to his friend Harrison Ford.

  • Mucho Macho

    I always had a soft spot for actors that play a lot of bad guys. If you look at past eras in cinema , a lot of leading Men played bad guys ,villains or flawed individuals. Men like James Cagney way back in the day. Then you have men like Jack Nicholson Al Pacino Gene Hackman Robert De Niro Michael Douglas John Travolta Gary Oldman Christopher Walken James Caan for example, were or are actors, that despite their Fame and popularity, played a lot of villains or hard, tough, flawed individuals.

    I always been a fan Michael Douglas. A lot of actors, if not the vast majority of them, have a specialty and if Michael Douglas’s specialty are rich assholes, then who cares?! I rather watch Douglas play a rich asshole than a current rapper turn so-called “actor” who cant put 2 fucking sentences together. Michael Douglas played a lot of bad guys at the height of his popularity, that is something that I think it’s missing from today’s leading man culture in Hollywood. How many of those actors that you seen in Marvel movies are doing other movies in which they play Bad Guys?
    for example John Travolta whom is a pop culture icon but when you look at his career, the guy did a shitload of villains and I always respected the fact that at the height of his comeback, he chose to play the villain in Broken Arrow and in my opinion, made that movie great.

    Falling Down is a great movie. I dont think it would be made today. The culture of today is ultra sensitive to the point of parody. This movie has an edge to it that today you are not allowed to have. God forbid a millennial pussy finds something “offensive” and goes home to bitch about it.

    On a side note…Hard to believe so many of these movies we grew up watching and love are now so old. But that’s the way life goes, time doesn’t stop for anyone. But the past few years in my opinion at least, have gone by way too fast.

    • Andymovieman

      Personally, I think Michael Douglas. would be a great backup villain in expendables 4 as well as Harrison Ford, Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Jeff Bridges, Tommy Lee Jones, John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Gary Oldman, Donald Sutherland, Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, George Clooney, Liam Neeson, Viggo Mortensen, etc., in case Jack Nicholson didn’t want the villainous role.

      • Mucho Macho

        Harrison Ford was really good in “What Lies Beneath”. An unexpected turn but was very effective. Those good actors you mention. I think Kevin Bacon should also get some props cause I think he is a bit underrated

        • Andymovieman

          Hollow Man and wild things I love with Kevin Bacon as the bad guy.