Movie: "Falling Down"
Year: 1993
Rated: R
Genre: Drama
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Writing credits: Ebbe Roe Smith

Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Posted: 2/25/2008

Plot: Bill Foster is just an ordinary guy who's had it with the injustices of modern society. While stuck in traffic on the freeway, he snaps, abandons his car, and heads home. Unfortunately, "home" is where his ex-wife and daughter live, and not even all the worst elements of LA will stop him from getting to them.

Review: In this movie, Michael Douglas enacts the fantasy of millions of frustrated urbanites by going on a rampage. The film opens with defense engineer Bill Foster gridlocked in LA traffic (unbelievable, I know). Already, you can see that this guy is just about ready to blow. He's stuck in traffic, some kid is eyeballing him, there's nothing good on the radio, and then his AC goes out. Sounds like a recipe for breakdown. A "falling" breakdown!

So he ditches his car on the freeway and heads home on foot. Along the way, he meets a lot of colorful characters, like a pair of thuggish gangbangers, a homophobic army surplus store owner, and an entitled homeless guy. It's pretty much a "worst case scenario" look at Los Angeles. Or maybe it's just a normal day for some of you. Either way, our hero winds up getting crazier and crazier, and so he starts lashing out at all the different hassles and social injustices as he sees them. At first, he just wrecks a grocery store after the owner overcharges him for a can of Coke, but things start to get real ugly when he finds a bag full of guns.

In contrast to Michael Douglas' character is Detective Prendergast, played by Robert Duvall. It's his last day on the job, but he's still better at it than anyone else in the department. We see him dealing with societal hang-ups just like Foster, only without the rampage. In fact, when he finally confronts Foster, he explains that he knows what he's going through, but that it's still not ok to take out your frustrations on innocent people.

All in all, it's a pretty entertaining movie. If you've ever lived in LA, you're bound to recognize some of the things that set Foster off, but at the same time, the film is careful not to make him seem entirely justified in his vigilantism. What you get is a guy who blows a gasket and rages against society's foibles, but in the end winds up being the bad guy. In that way, you can really sympathize with the character, but at the same time you can see that he's going about it the wrong way. It's an interesting character study, and I recommend it to everyone who's ever been stuck in traffic so long that they wondered if it would be faster to just walk home.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Idiot Genes
Feb 25th, 2008, 05:32 PM
Classic film. My life is dominated by rampage fantasies...I have Falling Down moments daily. Great choice for a review...
Pickled Patriarch
Feb 25th, 2008, 05:41 PM
Now you're gonna die, wearing that stupid little hat. How does it feel?
Feb 25th, 2008, 06:02 PM
this movie makes me cry
Feb 25th, 2008, 06:21 PM
This was a really good movie that had a decent crop of classic lines.
Crazed Techno-Biologist
Feb 25th, 2008, 07:07 PM
he practically lives what we all expect to happen and are quite surprised to find has not quite yet happened at all
The Goddamned Batman
Feb 25th, 2008, 07:26 PM
Quite possibly the only good thing Joel Schumacher has ever done in his life.
Forum Virgin
Feb 25th, 2008, 08:45 PM
Originally Posted by Protoclown
Quite possibly the only good thing Joel Schumacher has ever done in his life.
Besides Batman Forever and Batman and Robin!
Forum Virgin
Feb 25th, 2008, 08:49 PM
D-FENS is one of my favorite anti-heroes. Poor guy just wanted to see his daughter on her
birthday,but the world was dead set against it. Man,his wife was a cunt,too.
I don't know about you fellas,but I thought that chick that worked at the "Whammy burger" was hot. I'm whippin' up a batch of "special sauce" just thinking about her.
Feb 25th, 2008, 09:49 PM
Iron Maiden's "Man On The Edge" is about this movie.
And a good movie it is.
after enough bourbon ...
Feb 25th, 2008, 10:46 PM
Great movie. I saw it based solely on the tagline "I'm standing up for my RIGHTS .... as a consumer." which occurs right after he strafes the "Whammy Burger" with his semiautomatic.
Feb 25th, 2008, 10:52 PM
Joel Schumacher is history's greatest monster!
frappez le cochon rouge
Feb 25th, 2008, 11:19 PM
This is in my top five. I could watch this over and over and over.
Forum Virgin
Feb 26th, 2008, 12:10 AM
Now you're gonna die, wearing that stupid little hat. How does it feel?
That's definitely my favorite quote from the movie, and I cracked up after his whole rant leading up to that. It does get pretty serious further into the movie, and I found the backstory about his job in weapons interesting, actually. Also, I hated his wife, but the video at the end was kinda sobered me up.
Flash Game Programmer
Feb 26th, 2008, 12:47 AM
gotta love military-issue glasses.
age 8 1/2
Feb 26th, 2008, 02:56 AM
I've heard those government issue specs referred to as 'bcgs', birth control glasses.
Waiting for the worms.
Feb 26th, 2008, 09:00 AM
Wonderful movie, which is odd, considering it's a Schumacher vehicle. My favorite part was when the kid teaches him to fire the rocket launcher. Only in LA...
Forum Virgin
Feb 26th, 2008, 11:15 AM
Great movie! I always laugh when Robert Duvall climbs up the hill and yells to the store owner, "D-FENS!"
I also love the look Michael Douglas gives when he is asked if can read what the graffiti on the wall says. "Maybe if you wrote it in fucking English I could fucking read it." Then he gives this smile. That look reminds me of being in school and the one kid in class who wasn't afraid to talk back to the teacher. He's so proud of what he just said, he almost can't believe he said it. Classic!
Freak Power
Feb 26th, 2008, 04:02 PM
Great Movie that lets me 'live the fantasy' Lord know I don't know how many times I've dreamed of just whipping out a Magnum and ventilating some assholes head and making a rorshach with their brains... Sad tho how he became a "Bad Guy' and totally loses out in the end.
Pickleman's Uncle
Feb 26th, 2008, 04:30 PM
Yes, I have been looking for this movie for ever :O
I kept picturing that cover yet I could never find it in video stores and I didn't know the name.
Built in the 80s
Feb 26th, 2008, 07:57 PM
Falling Down is a great movie!
<me|yourmom> = you
Feb 26th, 2008, 08:30 PM
One of my favorite movies.
Forum Virgin
Feb 27th, 2008, 02:06 AM
Joel Schumacher has in fact done two good things...Falling Down is one, D.C. Cab is the other. Schumacher is responsible for the whole of human misery, but I'll give him credit where it's due.
Can't touch this
Feb 27th, 2008, 10:59 AM
Finally! This flick gets the love it's always deserved!
Turrican't. :(
Feb 27th, 2008, 02:35 PM
plastic bag
Feb 27th, 2008, 04:52 PM
for everybody shitting on Joel Schumacher, i believe you're forgetting a little film called Flatliners
Idiot Genes
Feb 27th, 2008, 07:33 PM
Yup - Flatliners is another flick I really enjoy. Didn't he also direct Tigerland? I thought that one was pretty good too.