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Falling Down  [DVD] 
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A traffic jam proves to be the last straw for an unemployed defence industry worker (Michael Douglas), who goes on the rampage, dishing out revenge on all those he believes have conspired to make his life a misery. As the death toll mounts, easy-going cop Martin Prendergast (Robert Duvall) is assigned to track him down.
This film, about a downsized engineer (Michael Douglas) who goes ballistic, triggered a media avalanche of stories about middle-class white rage when it was released in 1993. In fact, it's nothing more than a manipulative, violent melodrama about one geek's meltdown. Douglas, complete with pocket protector, nerd glasses, crewcut and short-sleeved white shirt, gets stuck in traffic one day near downtown LA and proceeds to just walk away from his car--and then lose it emotionally. Everyone he encounters rubs him the wrong way--and a fine lot of stereotypes they are, from threatening ghetto punks to rude convenience store owners to a creepy white supremacist--and he reacts violently in every case. As he walks across LA (now there's a concept), cutting a bloody swath, he's being tracked by a cop on the verge of retirement (Robert Duvall). He also spends time on the phone with his frightened ex-wife (Barbara Hershey). Though Douglas and Duvall give stellar performances, they can't disguise the fact that, as usual, this is another film from director Joel Schumacher that is about surface and sensation, rather than actual substance. --Marshall Fine, Amazon.com --This text refers to the VHS edition of this videoSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Falling Down tells the tale of a middle class white-collar worker who is slowly cracking up over his divorce and separation from his child and begins to take out his mental anguish on the everyday world he can no longer relate to. What starts as a day a being left hot and bothered in a traffic jam develops into a shooting spree as Douglas's character snaps and goes off the rails. On the other side of the coin we have Robert Duvall playing a grizzled old cop on his last day at work before retirement. It is Duvall who starts to piece together what is going on this fateful day as opposed to his scornful younger colleagues.
This, I guess, is the most interesting factor of the film, is that basically Douglas and Duvall play the same character. They are the forgotten men of America, middle aged, passed over and ignored at work, both rejected to an extent by their wives and both seeing the world they used to understand crumble around them. The fact is Duvall has the mental capacity to deal with the situation whereas Douglas does not.
The opening scene in which we see Douglas trapped in the traffic jam is extremely well presented and really sets the heat and frustration levels of the movie from the beginning. Other scenes in the film are equally as stunning and have almost become legend in film history. The scene in the Burger Bar is simply stunning and it is scenes like this where the viewer actually cheers for Douglas as he performs all the stunts we would like to in our own real worlds!Read more ›
Michael Douglas stars as William Foster, a middle-aged, middle-management schlub working at a defense company who suddenly finds himself obsolete in an increasingly chaotic, senseless world. Stuck in heavy traffic one morning, he suddenly snaps, leaves his car, and crosses LA on foot en route to his daughter's birthday party. Along the way he has many encounters with what sadly passes as modern humanity. Only now he's just not going to sit by and tolerate it. He's not choosing apathy like the rest of his fellow citizens. Foster (or D-FENS) fights back face to face, unapologetically, And you know what...he's right every time.
Robert Duvall plays Prendergast, the cop who puts together the pieces of D-Fens' rampage. The two men are as far apart as they are so close, but none of the LAPD care much for Prendergast's suspicions.
The lazy, arrogant, ignorant, disinterested cops are the only weak link in Ebbe Roe Smith's otherwise tight screenplay (you might remember him as 'Jim Bob' in Fletch Lives). Creating stupid characters to further the drama is just too easy, and every time one of them speaks it really drags the movie down.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not a fan of Douglas but this film has everything you need.We've all had one of them days.You can feel the heat,the tension,the hate,the emotion and the fact that people just... Read morePublished 4 days ago by David W
A very powerful film still relevant as a comment on life in today's world.Published 18 days ago by bugsbernie
Great film and thought provoking. Initially identified with his frustration and the drip-drip of things adding to his daily stress.... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Alan Darwin
A really good film that to this very day, years later resonates so well. And what's funny is the same guy who ruined the batman and robin film.Published 2 months ago by Remone
Rumour has it that the script to ‘Falling Down’ was kicking around Hollywood for years before it was picked up. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Albatross