09 November 2012

Deadfall (Stefan Ruzowitzky, 2012, USA)

One of the many strange things about this movie is that it was directed by the director of the Oscar winning foreign language film The Counterfeiters. Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde star as siblings on the run after having robbed a tribal casino in what I took to be Michigan. Their flight toward Canada has been deranged by a freak car accident on a snowy country road. I'm not sure whether I should start with the strengths or the weaknesses here, because they probably balance each other out.

Their stories smash up against a few families in and around the community of Beaver Lake. All of the people involved seem to be struggling with the same sorts of family troubles that fuel the madness of our pair of siblings, particularly Eric Bana. Eric Bana's character seems to have some weird incestuous energy flowing toward his sister, but she ends up looking for redemption with a disgraced Olympic boxer fresh out of prison, played by Charlie Hunnan. The boxer's parents are a retired sherriff or something played by Kris Kristofferson and idealized homemaker Sissy Spacek. The boxer and the father naturally have issues. The new sherriff's daughter, a friend of the family, played by Kate Mara, also has issues with douchebag father.

Basically everyone in the whole movie has trouble with their fathers, probably because aside from Kristofferson's charcter, they're all total scumbags. The actors are all pretty good and they really tip the scales toward making this film worth watching. The only trouble is the film gets kind of weighed down in sorting out everybody's endless family dramas which keep playing out all over the place. It's also tricky becayse you're trying to follow along with Eric Bana, but he does a couple of things that are hard to forget about, which makes the ending a little flat. It's a mess, but it's probably worth renting from VOD if you're pining for something new on the VOD.

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