Talented and excellent script, music, acting, thrill, suspe
Pork Chop | Lisbon, Portugal | 01/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"DEADFALL (1993), packs a whallop of a punch in terms of
entertainment, from truely talented aspects, with an infinite
number of elements that keeps spectators interested from start to
First, some may readily underestimate Michael Biehn's acting
performance. This is unfair, considering the special combination he
makes up with Sarah Trigger in this picture, the natural feel to the
acting imparted to viewers, the edge, the excitement, if not the
youth of both showing when filmed. Biehn doesn't overplay his role,
and skillfully stays within the bounds of his purpose in the film,
with much success. As for Trigger, at the time, a very youthful
actress, portrays herself as a shy, timid young woman caught in an
underworld, in which she's turned into a pro, like all other
cohorts, in a variety of make-believe scenarios, targeting marks to
Secondly, the audio of this movie is quite reminscent of Bartok's
string quartets, or of Stravinsky's violin opuses, and as such,
enhances skillfully the tense situations, bringing beauty and
elegance to a picture that, from its very subject, at first glace is
somewhat brutal from the ethics of the behavior shown, or lack
Third, Nick Cage plays the best role I've ever seen for him, as a
psychotic collector of underworld debts, and participant in the
house of mirrors schemes thought up for getting cash. His demeanor
is perfect for the story's locations chosen, namely, peep show,
strip bar, and the consequences of booze, pills, coke, as rage,
confusion, desperation, dark alley stabbings, throat slashings.
Fourth, Peter Fonda introduces some glamour and American mystique to
the picture, reminding everyone this is a Hollywood A-list
production, albeit a brief appearance.
Fifth, James Coburn skillfully plays a veteran pro in these
underworld activities, and brings credibility and sincerity to the
picture, which was required in a role that shows him as a survivor
in the milieu, not by accident, but by a honed technique.
The first downpoint is the initial pigeon drop that viewers will see
coming from 1 mile away, but ... it doesn't take away from the
story. genre. Biehn's character joins another ring, total strangers
to him, but within hours, like a trained actor in the theatre, is
ready to deliver a world class performance in the underworld and
complete his role and assignment, in setting up the mark, getting
the cash. Some are 24/7 in this milieu.
Another weakness is the lack of wide-screen, which would have
benefitted the movie in the first third of the movie, that slowly
I should underline the acquired taste of this movie genre, similar
to boxing in terms of brutality yet spectacle. The gratuitous nudity
of Trigger and peep shows may raise eyebrows among some.
Biehn in the end, questions whether he belongs in this world, where
greed, money, house of mirrors, the marks are victims and lack of
ethics is tolerable in the long-term, the absence of remorse among
those taking part, dog eat dog at its most revealing.
In conclusion, the script, music, acting, thrill, suspense are
excellent, taking viewers in this imaginary world for 90 mins
uncaged | Coral Springs, FL USA | 12/31/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably Nic's goofiest movie ever. Nothing is real - not his accent, not his nose, or even his hair. You would hardly recognize him! And I'd tend to think that was exactly his intention - to completely build a character out of nothing, with no ties to him as a person whatsoever.The plot is pretty cool, the movie has a weird edge to it. So if you like alternative types of movies this one is definitely worth seeing. Co-production with Nicolas' brother Christopher and some other smaller roles for more family members :-)."
Man! What was Nicholas Cage thinking?
Pork Chop | 12/19/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is not a comedy, but with Nicholas Cage giving the most hilarious performance of his life, it turns out to be quite an aisle-rolling experience. I mean, he goes from one accent to another, he's snorting coke, chewing chiklets, and best of all he takes his aggression out on innocent clotheshangers. It's a classic, believe me. I only wish more people would have seen this, like say members of the Academy before they handed him that award. It's funny, but only worth watching for Cage. James Coburn and Michael Biehn add to the hilarity somewhat, playing strongly off of Cage's "Hotheaded" Eddie."
Nicolas Cage Unhinged
Joshua Miller | Coeur d'Alene,ID | 04/08/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Directed and co-written by Nicolas Cage's brother Christopher Coppola, Deadfall is a forgotten wannabe film-noir that has not even achieved "cult status" for its overly campy nature. I think that many involved with the film thought they were making a good film and were taking it seriously...Furthermore, I think the only person who realized the movie sucked was Nicolas Cage and he didn't have the heart to tell his brother. It's clear right as you start watching Deadfall, that the most prestigious thing about the movie is the DVD cover.
A summary is hardly necessarily, but basically there's a con man named Joe (Michael Biehn) who accidentally kills his father (James Coburn) in a con gone bad. His Uncle Lou (James Coburn again) is also a con man, with a psychotic right-hand man Eddie (Nicolas Cage). Meeting his Uncle Lou for the first time, Joe sees a chance for one last big con.
Deadfall does not provide anything new or innovative as far as film-noir goes; there's even the obligatory voice-over by Biehn that is both poorly written and spoken. Biehn sounds uncomfortable saying it throughout and when voice-over makes up a significant percentage of your film, you can't have that. It has actors that are all talented, but, with the exception of two, they seem determined not to show it. Leading lady Sarah Trigger (as Biehn's love interest) seems to be reading from cue cards, Biehn sleepwalks throughout the film, and many of the notable actors (Peter Fonda, Talia Shire) don't stay long enough to make any kind of impression. However, Charlie Sheen has a small role that had me questioning whether the director was asking Sheen to be ominous or to parody someone trying to be ominous. And of course there's Dr. Lyme (played by Angus Scrimm, a.k.a. The Tall Man), who seems to have walked out of a bad David Lynch movie into Coppola's film. I wonder if Coppola wrote the initial script and his co-writer added Dr. Lyme after realizing how bad the film was going to be anyway. For the most part, the film seems desperate to seem intelligent and engaging, but ends up feeling like diet David Mamet.
The late James Coburn seems to be giving a performance in a different film and, as Uncle Lou; he gives the most straight-forward performance. As Joe's father though, he falls into camp territory too. But not a single performance in this film matters except for one. There's only one performance in this film that still brings this film any attention and it's the one performance that is impossible not to mention when talking about the movie. That performance is by, none other, than Nicolas Cage.
Cage plays Eddie, a psychopath and two-bit con man. There is no method to this performance, like Cage simply abandoned any and all technique to play the character. Within ten minutes of appearing onscreen, Cage changes his accent twice and most of his dialogue is nonsensical (yet highly quotable) gibberish. I'm not sure if Eddie has any purpose in this film, but because of Cage's performance I'm glad someone thought so. Whether you love or hate Nicolas Cage, you can't deny that Cage's performance is the most fascinating aspect of this movie. Almost everything Cage does as an actor had me asking myself "what is he doing?" or "why is he doing this?" He goes beyond "over-the-top," absolutely chewing apart the scenery...Seeing Nicolas Cage unhinged is entertaining enough when he's trying (such as in Bad Lieutenant), but when he doesn't seem to care at all he still leaves us with one very memorable movie character.
Cage can't completely redeem the film by making a mockery of it with his performance though. The entire production feels amateurish, strange with its director being part of the Coppola clan. Christopher Coppola singlehandedly proves that good filmmaking is not genetic. Deadfall has lazy acting, weak voice-over work, and a terrible score (a score used so inappropriately throughout the film, the only thing it does is make the film more cheesy than it is). It wouldn't be worth any of your time, but if you like Nicolas Cage and you don't mind killing some time watching him act crazy for about half an hour, you can't pass this up. It's campy, ridiculous, and amateurish but falls into the category of "so bad...It's alright."