Sunday, 19 May 2013

Film Review: Deadfall (2012)

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Writer: Zach Dean
Stars: Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Charlie Hunnam, Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek

Deadfall is one of those annoying kind of films which, whilst watching it, you know it’s not going anywhere but it’s not quite bad enough to turn off. By the conclusion, you wished you’d never started it.

The film starts well, when a car full of stolen cash crashes, a cop is killed, and two thieves go their separate ways with a plan to meet up a few days later. Next we see an elderly couple waiting their son’s return for Thanksgiving dinner and then we see the son as he’s released from jail, a man who won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics for Boxing. All of these stories are being set up to lead to one exciting conclusion, which sadly never materialises.

This film comes off not as a first draft of a screenplay, but as the writing process before a script is written. There are three or four nice ideas on show here to make a lesser Fargo or A Simple Plan but there isn’t a worthy conclusion to get all these strangers in the same place at the same time, so the question is, why bother making this film if the film makers clearly don’t have a final act in mind? It’s ultimately as waste of their time and yours, but you won’t know that until the end.

It is also a waste of good talent, too. Eric Bana makes for a charismatic and creepy lead but his ultimate goals are never fleshed out; Olivia Wilde gets some emotional range but needs a better film than this to move on from the ‘just a (exceptionally) pretty face’ typecasting. Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek are their usually dependable selves but are given precious little to do here.

Stop thinking for yourself verdict: Deadfall may make for a good TV movie with no-name actors but with names like this, it simply isn’t deserved of a cinematic release yet it takes the majority of the running time to find this out because you’re sure something, anything, is going to happen, but it never does.

This is for die-hard fans of the cast only.

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