Synopsis: A thriller [sic] that follows two siblings who decide to fend for themselves in the wake of a botched casino heist, and their unlikely reunion during another family’s Thanksgiving celebration.
This film is listed on Netflix as a thriller. For my money in order for a movie to be classed a thriller it needs to be, well, thrilling. It’s been less than 24 hours since I watched Deadfall and I am honestly struggling to remember enough of it to write a full review about it.
If it wasn’t for the presence of Eric Bana this would be getting a much harsher review than it is about to get.
The premise of Deadfall could have been a really interesting movie if the last third had been the entire thing. The story plays out over 24hrs or so and begins with a dramatic car crash involving Addison (Eric Bana), his sister Liza (Olivia Wilde) and a whole load of cash they just robbed from a casino. Deserted in the Michigan wilderness they decide to go their separate ways, in a deathly blizzard, with minimal clothing, and reconvene when safe. Which seems weird as the film portrays Addison as this ridiculously protective sibling.
Stranded and freezing, Liza is found on a quiet road by Jay (Charlie Hunnam) a boxer released from jail that day after serving a term for fixing a fight. He is on his way to spend Thanksgiving with his parents, Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek. Unable to pass through the snow storm they hole up in a sleazy motel for the night and end up getting it on. Bow-chica-wow.
Meanwhile Addison goes on a one man conflicted killing spree; randomly saving some people yet mercilessly killing others.
Then there is a third story line involving Kate Mara as some hot shot police officer who is the only woman in her squad, clearly the best of the lot and is subjected to horrific sexist remarks and put downs by the her boss, who happens to be her Father (Treat Williams).
Eventually they all converge in their own ways upon the Kristofferson/Spacek household where they share the world’s most awkward Thanksgiving dinner. Imagine the tension of most family holiday dinners, but with more guns and weird incestuous sexual tension. Oh did I forget to mention? There is weird incestuous sexual tension between Addison and Liza that is never explained not resolved. And therein lies the crux of the problem with Deadfall.
So much is going on that nothing is going on. Too many characters show extremes without contextualising their motives. Fine, have Kate Mara’s cop being underestimated by her Father because she is a girl. But there are times when he seems to hate her for it. Why is there such weird sexual tension between siblings? Other than being super hot and apparently easy, why does Jay so quickly fall in love with Liza and vica versa to the point of making extreme decisions?
This film should have skipped all of the crap and been set almost entirely within the dinner scene. Within the first 5 minutes follow Jay from prison making his way home (ala Buffalo ’66). Then have the car crash a short distance from Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek’s house. Addison and Liza gatecrash the dinner and the rest of the movie is a tense standoff where they explore the characters in depth. You still have Jay and Liza fall in love and cause her to have conflicting emotions, but doing so in such close proximity to her brother Addison makes it that much more dangerous.
I’m not sure but I think I just wrote a better movie in 10 minutes. You’re welcome Hollywood.
Conclusion: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………oh something happened……zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Verdict: 4/10 – Watch at your own discretion
Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky – Made the brilliant German language The Counterfeiters. Also made terrible Matt Le Blanc/Eddie Izzard transvestite paratrooper movie All The Queens Men. So, mixed bag. To say the least.
Writer: Zach Dean – Only credit. His IMDB photo makes him look like a cross between someone from To Catch A Predator and Seth Meyers ugly brother though. Bad choice Zach
Cast: Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Charlie Hunnam, Kris Kristofferson, Sissy Spacek, Kate Mara, Treat Williams
- On 19th January 2013, 5 weeks after opening, Deadfall opened on 1 screen in the entire USA and grossed $145. Yup…
- Olivia Wilde‘s first day of shooting was actually the scenes where her character almost freezes to death and she was only in a miniskirt during filming in Canada.