Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (52)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (38)
| Rotten (14)
| DVD (7)
None of the characters ever rises beyond the level of his or her generic functions, and by the end the overall emptiness of the conception becomes fully apparent.
Let's face it, there is an element of truth in the character of D-FENS. But it is, finally, tabloid truth.
At first comes across like a mean-spirited black comedy and then snowballs into a reasonably powerful portrait of social alienation. The tone is unremittingly dour, however.
A real artist could make something incisive or darkly hilarious out of this moral tightrope act. Schumacher, veering recklessly between social satire, kick-ass fantasy and damsel-in-distress melodrama, plays the game for opportunistic cheap thrills.
Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, and certainly unnerving.
It turns one man's slide toward madness into a wickedly mischievous, entertaining suspense thriller.
It's a somewhat high-concept premise that's employed to consistently engrossing effect by filmmaker Schumacher...
We cannot make out if we are meant to like him or not, or why he is so angry, and this is intriguing.
Director Joel Schumacher, credited with toning down Ebbe Roe Smith's script, paces the film rivetingly, which goes to show that good film-making doesn't guarantee a good film. Falling Down is as sleek and efficient as a torture chamber.
These adventures would be offensive if you could take them seriously, so it's probably good that you can't.
What makes this an innovative film is Joel Schumacher's bold eschewing of the good-guy-verses-bad-guy Hollywood convention.
The character of William Foster (simply called D-Fens in the closing credits) represents an element of our collective id.
Not bad. Loathed and pitied William all at the same time. Some of it was funny in a really black way (or maybe it's just me).
This is another great example of how, when given a more modest budget, and decently written indie-minded material that Joel Schumacher is capable of delivering a really good and thought provoking film. Now, if only he could do this more often...
Micahel Douglsas delivers one of his absolute best performances as William "D-Fens" Foster, the archetypical 'angry white man". Life just isn't going his way: he's an anger prone divorcee and recently unemployed defense contractor trying to eek out an existence in L.A. While stuck in a major traffic jam one sweltering morning, his frustrations finally come to a boil, and he decides to lash out at all of the problems he sees plaguing society. After abandoning his car in the pile up, he casually tells someone he's going home, then sets out through the urban jungle to get home to celebrate his daughter's birthday, while along the way taking care of those aforementioned issues he has with the world.
This would make for great viewing along with films like Taxi Driver or Do the Right Thing, as they all deal with similar issues and themes, often in very similar ways. The script is pretty well written and does a good job of clearly showing the legitimate social ills that plague many cities, and the effect that can have on people. Also, even though middle aged white men are historically the most entitled and oft represented demographic, their plight cannot or shouldn't go unnoticed where scholarly study is concerned. And yeah, Douglas does a wonderful job at bringing these struggles to life. He's extremely compelling to watch, and his character is alternately sympathetic and frighteningly psychotic. Like the movie overall, you'll be somewhat tickled one moment (lots of dark humor), and horrified the next.
The other major plot going on here besides Bill's odyssey is that of the efforts of Prendergast, a cop on his final day of work before retiring who is tasked with stopping Bill's rampage. He's played wonderfully by Robert Duvall whose skill and world weariness lend a lot of credibility and pathos to the role. Like Douglas's character, his is similarly frustrated and alienated, but he chooses to deal with things in a different but still interesting manner. Other notable performers here include Barbara Hershey as Bill's ex-wife, Rachel Ticotin as Prendergast's colleague, and Lois Smith as Bill's mother. They all put in some decent work, but none of them can match either Duvall or Douglas.
Schumacher provides some sharp direction, and mise-en-scene is used quite effectively to convey all the themes and feelings of the characters. The script is good, and addresses a lot of important issues, but even though it's not totally necessary, it might have been nice had the film tried to provide some answers to the questions and issues it raises. While a lot of the film is really good and quite interesting, it is uneven. The stuff with Duvall is rather cliche and isn't as impactful or gripping as it should be. The film is also rather one-sided a lot of the time when it comes to the problems Bill has with the world...and mildly racist, too.
However, the film hits far more than it misses, and besides being entertaining it tries to be a lot more, so even if it is flawed, it is s still very fascinating and absorbing, so please give it a chance.
You will never find a film which can define our reality like 'Falling Down'. It shows our society, along with most of its problems, of how we are slowly falling apart. With a strong story and brilliant performance by Michael Douglas, this film will make you see more clearly with the world around you.
A man just had enough of it all and starts walking through L.A. picking up increasingly lethal weapons as he encounters disrespect, violence and injustice and reacts accordingly. Like with every vigilante, the law soon starts to take notice in shape of likable cop Robert Duvall and tries to find the man. The problem is that Michael Douglas' character has the audience on his side each time he beats up a gang member or a Nazi store owner and then immediately loses it again when he starts to creep out his estranged family. At the same time each encounter with possible hostage tries to make the point that there isn't a bad person at work here. That may be intentionally so, but it makes it all more confusing and harder to care for the man. Of course the film has a few smart things to say about the human indifference in everyday urban life and the threshold of violence, but the ending turns out a bit too predictable.
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