Deadfall (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

Deadfall (1993)

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This lushly photographed, contemporary film noir tries to substitute looks and unconvincing, contrived plot twists for substance, capturing the look of a film noir but lacking the depth and characterization needed to make the film work. After his father, Mike is killed, Joe Donan (Michael Biehn) finds evidence that his Uncle Lou (James Coburn) in a dual role as Mike and Lou, might have stolen money from his father. Joe hooks up with Lou and his drug-taking lackey, Eddie (Nicolas Cage). Joe also falls for Eddie's beautiful, but devious girlfriend Diane (Sarah Trigger). Joe kills Eddie and gains Lou's confidence, joining him in a diamond swindle. As the unnecessarily complicated plot concludes, Joe learns the shocking truth that he himself has been the victim of a scam. Michael Biehn while a good-looking and competent actor, fails to find the depth necessary to bring his outwardly sophisticated but surprisingly naive character to life. Sarah Trigger is too shallow to make a convincing noir femme-fatale, and her obvious deviousness would fool only the most gullible. Nicolas Cage, in a totally over-the-top performance also fails to give his character any believability or depth. Director Christopher Coppola takes a potentially interesting premise and muddles it with too many plot twists and unconvincing performances.

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Cast

Michael Biehn
as Joe Donan
James Coburn
as Mike Donan/Lou Donan
Charlie Sheen
as Martin Gripp
Angus Scrimm
as Dr. Lyme
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Critic Reviews for Deadfall

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

Watchable only for camp value.

Full Review… | September 17, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

Unpersuasive and shallow.

Full Review… | September 17, 2008
TV Guide

Oh man! This is so bad!

Full Review… | September 10, 2002
Montreal Film Journal

Audience Reviews for Deadfall

There's nothing like seeing the one true god, Nicolas Cage, tripping balls and dry-humping a mattress.

Matthew Castaneda
Matthew Castaneda

Christopher Coppola's neo-noir Deadfall is an absolutely terrible film redeemed by one defining factor: Nicolas Fucking Cage. Nic Cage gives a truly memorable performance as the psychotic, coke-snorting Eddie. His acting here really needs to be seen to be understood. He has some weird low voice at the start, but quickly begins yelling profanity and hilarious lines like "HI FUCKING YA!" as he karate chops some random man who told him to "watch out" when Eddie drunkenly walks into him as he's leaving a tittie bar. There are so many great quotes in this movie. I recommend you search Youtube for clips of his Caggiest Deadfall moments. But unfortunately, his character gets his face deep fried an hour into the film, leaving roughly half an hour left. This is my major problem. Cage is both the heart and soul of Deadfall. Without him, we are left with a boring, one dimensional protagonist and a lame plot with one of the stupidest twists ever. Not even Charlie Sheen, who has a small role near the end of the film, provided any real entertainment value. If only Eddie was the film's protagonist, this film would be amazing. There isn't a whole lot to say about Deadfall. The acting is bad(apart from Cage), the writing is abysmal(except Cage's dialogue, but that's probably due to his delivery), and the film lacks any kind of excitement(again, 'cept when Cage is on screen) and tension. The climatic scene of the final con is dull and suspense free. Most likely because I didn't give a shit about the characters. Deadfall's tone is uneven. Is this supposed to be a noir-ish crime thriller? Or a goofy black comedy? Cage's performance suggest the latter, but there are other scenes without his presence that seem to be comedic in nature, but end up falling flat because they just aren't funny. It's a strange movie, but not always in a good way. And you can probably guess who's at the center of the good parts... Cage earns this film a 4/10. Everything else totally sucks. But it could be a fun movie to watch with some buddies who are ready to trash a bad movie, and laugh at one of Cage's best roles.

Bazooka Jew
Bazooka Jew

This film is awful. I mean Wicker Man awful. This dreadful piece of incompetent "filmmaking" earns its place right beside Battlefield Earth and Gigli. Populated with stars like Michael Biehn, Charlie Sheen, James Coburn, Nicolas Cage, Peter Fonda, and directed by Francis Ford Coppola's nephew, Christopher Coppola, Deadfall is a film noir with a plot that you can't possibly care about, scenes that add nothing to the story, and dialogue that tries really hard to mimic dialogue of films from the 1940s but ultimately is delivered by actors who look like they're reading from cue cards hidden behind the camera. There are two rewarding scenes, both of them involving Nicolas Cage overacting to the extreme. Cage plays a hustler named Eddie. Eddie is a ruthless criminal who has it out for anyone trying to double cross him. He isn't very smart though and is killed halfway through the film. *I include this spoiler as if you're watching this movie for Nicolas Cage's ridiculously awful performance, this is where you stop the film* Cage screams his way through the entire film and much of what he says is incoherent anyway. But his overacting is the only thing that makes this film worth watching. The plot is mainly about a con game, but it's one of those plots that move forward with too many scenes of people sitting down talking, and talking, and talking, and talking. However, nobody has anything interesting to say, and the dialogue is a really brutal attempt at wit, but it doesn't just fall flat, it's completely DOA. Deadfall is so boring you really want to turn it off and do something more productive like make a Starbucks run. Do yourself a favour. Cage's best scenes from this movie are on You Tube, and they're all actually from the same scene in the movie. Watch those off of your computer, have a few laughs, and don't even think about this amateurish, snooze-inducing excuse for a crime drama again.

Edward Boxler
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

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