4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Deadfall = dead good!,
This review is from: Deadfall [DVD]  (DVD)
Deadfall works on several levels. You can watch it as a straightforward action-thriller, or get entangled in the mind-games and psychodrama of the sub-plots. For a fairly low-key release it aims high, blending out-of-the-blue instances of brutal intensity with emotionally mature and deftly intertwined character arcs. The ensemble cast generate some truly tense and memorable moments - not least Eric Bana, as the seductive psychopath du jour, but also from Sissy Spacek as the grace-under-pressure all American hostage-mom, and Kate Mara who plays Hannah, a local police officer, battling institutional chauvinism on a monumental scale.
At first glance, Deadfall looks like a straightforward heist-gone-wrong, guys-on-the-run movie, but underneath it's an examination of the fraught emotional ties between families, many of those relationships unhealthily intense. The plot follows a strange pair of siblings, brother and sister, on the run with the loot from a casino robbery. Almost instantly the violence escalates and they're thrown into a series of situations (violent / sensual: sometimes both at the same time), while trying to escape across the Canadian border.
The characters fight, form alliances and fracture against each other in a mid-winter wilderness, cut off by blizzards, forced to confront their earlier lives and emotional angst over the Thanksgiving holiday. And, helpfully, there's a gentlemanly-mannered lunatic on the loose who is as likely to take tea as he is to hack off a limb. Much of the delight in this film comes from his sheer unpredictability, but Deadfall is much more than just a star vehicle for Bana's acting talent.
The photography throughout is superb; capturing the majesty, isolation and underlying menace of the isolated landscape. The supporting cast are excellent also, from the hard-bitten barmaid who won the bar in her divorce settlement, to the police secretary who encourages Hannah to escape the small minds of the small town. The ending delivers a wallop, too.
Altogether much more than you'd expect of an average B-movie.
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Initial post: 9 Jan 2014 11:25:02 GMT
Another excellent review, Rowena. I watched it on the flight to BKK in early February last year (2013). I'd have given it a 5 star billing, though.
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