MICHAEL DOUGLAS IS A LAID-OFF DEFENSE WORKER WHO GOES ON A VIOLENT RAMPAGE ACROSS LOS ANGELES WITH DOGGED COP ROBERT DUVALL IN PURSUIT. SPECIAL FEATURES: INTERACTIVE MENUS, SCENE ACCESS, AND THEATRICAL TRAILER. SUBTITLES I... more »N ENGLISH AND FRENCH.« less
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 4/19/2012...
A classic that contiunes to entertain even after repeat viewings. The only somewhat cliched moments came from Robert Duvall's performance as a cop about to retire who goes after Michael Douglas' Everyman pushed to his limit. Michael Douglas' performance throughout this film is one of the strongest in his entire career. He perfectly envisions the character and adds an elment of subtle surreal humor throughout.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jamie S. (jlsschmidt) from BERKELEY HTS, NJ Reviewed on 3/22/2011...
I really enjoyed this movie. Your "normal" 9-5 man goes crazy after being stuck in a boiling hot car in gridlock rush hour traffic. What's not to love?
Everyone I've shown it to seems to have enjoyed it as well.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Ursula S. from BRANFORD, CT Reviewed on 5/10/2010...
Excellent Movie!!! Great cast. Michael Douglas superb.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Angela W. (rainenroses) from GOSPORT, IN Reviewed on 9/1/2009...
great movie !
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jon H. (vLame) from LONG BEACH, CA Reviewed on 10/20/2008...
The freeway is jammed
And it's backed up for miles
The car is an oven and baking is wild
Nothing is ever the way it should be
What we deserve we just don't get you see
A briefcase, a lunch and a man on the edge
Each step gets closer to losing his head
Is someone in heaven are they looking down
Cause nothing is fair, just you look around
He's sick of waiting of lying like this
There's a hole in the sky for the angels to kiss
Branded a leper because you don't fit
In the land of the free
You just live by your wits
Once he built missiles a nation's defence
Now he can't even give birthday presents
Accross the city he leaves in his wake
A glimpse of the future, a cannibal state
11 of 18 member(s) found this review helpful.
A film that really leaves its mark on you
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 05/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a powerful film, but I personally don't look at it as some type of social commentary or condemnation of modern society, although it certainly touches on some of the problems that will always exist among human beings. Falling Down may well have a potent effect on anyone watching it, though. It always leaves me feeling really, really weird because it touches on so many things we all have to put up with each day, presents a monster whom I can't help but sympathize with in some degree, provides us with a hero whose own life is rife with undeserved problems, and runs its course atop a strong undercurrent of sadness. Michael Douglas gives one of his better performances as Bill Foster, an unremarkable man who finds his world torn apart and finally just snaps. He has lost his wife and little girl (which is his own fault); he's lost his job, the one thing that made him feel important; he just wants things to be like they used to be. He doesn't want to sit in traffic with no air conditioning or pay almost a dollar for a little can of soda or see plastic surgeons living the life of Riley while he can't even support his little girl. His journey "home" is an extraordinary one, and the kinds of awful people he encounters on the way do nothing to help his mentality. It's hard not to cheer him on when he manages to effect an escape from a couple of gangsters trying to rob him, but acts such as holding a burger joint up just because they refuse to serve him breakfast after lunch time is, obviously, way out there. No matter what terrible things he does, though, I can't get completely past the fact that he earnestly wants to see his little girl and give her a present for her birthday; in a clearly psychotic way, I find this movie somewhat touching, and that only makes the whole experience more depressing than it already is.Robert Duvall is indeed quite good as the good cop, Prendergast, pursuing this vigilante on his last day before retirement. His life is no dream either, but of course he handles his own problems in a way quite unlike our man Foster does. His wife is clearly disturbed, made frighteningly burdensome and vulnerable by the death of their own little girl and an earlier wounding of her husband on the job. For her benefit, he took a desk job and is forced to put up with a lot of jokes and insults from his fellow cops, including his own boss. Except for his partner, all of the cops in this film are as unfeeling and cruel as some of the shady characters Foster meets up with during his journey home, and that is to me one of the more disturbing aspects of this film. One of the things I liked most about Falling Down was its attempt to portray Foster as one very disturbed man and not a stand-in for any type of stereotypical vigilante; one character in particular makes this point quite clearly when, discovering that Foster doesn't actually agree with him in his own twisted, stereotypically extremist mindset, he asks the man just what kind of vigilante he is supposed to be. My own thinking is that Falling Down is not meant to be a warning about a group of potential Bill Fosters festering in the midst of society; instead, by showing us what happens to one man, it is warning us to walk carefully on our own journeys and to be careful to keep our tempers in check even when the world seems to be out to get us. At the same time, it doesn't imply that we should roll over and play dead whenever a problem comes our way, using the character of Prendergast to show us that we can and should stand up for ourselves but only in constructive ways. I really have a lot of conflicting emotions about this film, but the one thing I am sure of is that Falling Down is an unforgettable motion picture well worth seeing."
Phil Behnke | Portland, OR USA | 07/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is absolutely mesmerizing. Michael Douglas snaps one day and goes wandering through Los Angeles. I think it's interesting when you read reviews on this movie from people in the midwest who don't get this movie. People in L.A. on the other hand certainly do get it. I can tell you from personal experience of living there and being held at gun point by scumbags that anyone could be pushed over the edge in LA. I found this movie to be laugh-out-loud funny especially when Michael Douglas orders a "Whammy Burger" and when he tries out his rocket launcher after an argument with a Cal-Trans employee. "There's nothing wrong with the road, but I'll give you something to fix." I don't think people outside of LA can appreciate that scene as much. And watching Michael Douglas on that golf course had my side hurting for days from painful laughter. Yes, it's sick but the way he looks down at the old guy and says, "And now you're going to die...with that silly hat on", was fantastic. And how about the scene with the white supremist? If you think this movie had too many stereotypes, then you've never been to LA. It's a sick place with sick people where sick things happen. Yes, it's awful that people get shot, but a lot of people in LA deserve what happens to them which this film boldy proves. Studies have shown that the combination of stress, traffic jams, and smog can make someone lose it. What's the point? The point is you should appreciate wherever you live as long as it's not there. Michael Douglas should have got an Oscar for his performance. This was the best movie of the year although it's obviously not for all tastes."
Most engaging film Schumacher's done
Marcus A. Vitchell | Orland California | 10/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Movie Critics are morons. All of these characters ARE stereotypes, as are the characters in 85% of Hollywood's movies today. Panning this movie for it's blatent use of these cliched people kind of misses 'the point' they were looking for. People are ugly, racist, and selfish. This man (with serious emotional problems) takes a look around his world (downtown LA) and slowly begins breaking down. How many of us can identify with the idea of the American Dream gone wrong? Being menaced by a gang? Being lied to by advertising? 'they lie to everybody'. Micheal Douglas portrayal of a Joe Blow gone bad is mesmerizing. Unlike 'Payback', I actually found myself rooting for the 'bad guy'. What Douglas does is ugly, what we all see everyday is ugly. Robert Duvall (as mentioned before) is rock solid.The DVD's main benefit is crystal clear audio and video. It features scene selection and the trailer. Had it included a few extras (Like a MD or RD commentary track, I'd rate it a 5). This movie is about the 'average man' in a cruddy world who can't take it anymore. He could have been someone you worked with, or saw when you're getting off the bus, or waitied in line behind. And THAT was the point of this movie."
Mad as Hell and Not Taking It Anymore
David Montgomery | davidjmontgomery.com | 05/18/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Some people think this film is about violence or anger or racism. It's not, though. It's about sadness. The sadness that comes when life loses its meaning. The kind of sadness that can drive a man to do terrible things.Michael Douglas stars as an unemployed defense worker who is having a very bad day. It starts with him being stuck in traffic on an L.A. freeway. No one is moving, his air conditioner is broken, and the exhaust fumes are overpowering. Finally, he abandons his car and sets out on foot. (The opening scene is an homage to the opening of Fellini's "8 1/2.")The unnamed Douglas character, as he frequently says, is just trying to get home. He doesn't want any trouble; he just wants to see his family. Events, though, seem to conspire against him.Along the way, he runs into a Korean grocer, Hispanic gangbangers, a homeless man, a neo-Nazi skinhead, and other colorful SoCal denizens who drive him to the edge. That's where the violence begins. This brings him to the attention of Sgt. Prendergrast (Robert Duvall), a police officer who is about to retire. Before he does, though, he is determined to catch Douglas.Despite being on opposite sides of the law, the similarities between these two men are greater than the differences. Both of them are failures at home and at work. Both of them lead lives that have never quite lived up to their expectations; lives of "quiet desperation." The only difference is in how each man copes with his failures.Michael Douglas is excellent in this role, playing it in a very controlled and understated way. It would have been very easy to go over the top with it, but he never does. Duvall is good, as usual, in the more reserved, low profile part.What is most compelling about this story is how real it seems. The things Douglas does are thing we've all thought about doing. The things he feels--the anger, the helplessness--are all things we've felt. In that sense, he represents a side of ourselves; a side we don't want to admit we have, but one that we can't deny."
A chillingly powerful film that seems to often be misunderst
Dave | United States | 01/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Joel Schumacher's 1992 movie "Falling Down" is a chillingly powerful film that seems to get often misinterpreted. Don't get the wrong idea, there definitely IS substance to this movie--it's not just some kind of freak show.
Michael Douglas, in a spellbinding performance, plays William Foster, a man who totally collapses emotionally while stuck in traffic one morning. He ditches his car, leaving it right in the middle of the roadway, and begins an on-foot trek 'home' through the streets of Los Angeles. What follows is a day of extremely tempermental and violent behavior from Foster, lashing out against a Korean shop owner who 'won't make change', Latino gang members who accuse him of invading their territory, a fast food restaurant that's 'stopped serving breakfast', and a neo-Nazi gun shop owner who already has some frightening issues of his own.
With its story of a white man 'fighting back' against urban decay, "Falling Down" is similar to the 1970 film "Joe" (starring Peter Boyle). A deeper peek though reveals "Falling Down" to be kind of a cross between "Five Easy Pieces" and "Taxi Driver", both masterpieces in their own right--William Foster's wildly erratic and tempermental behavior strongly brings to mind the former's Robert Dupea (Jack Nicholson), while the good-guy-turned-violent reactionary element of Foster isn't too far off from the latter's Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro).
Michael Douglas is clearly the perfect actor for the role of William Foster. Douglas' terrific knacks for subtlety and dry humor are key ingredients to making his character, despite all of his fits of violence, frighteningly sympathetic. It never appears that Foster derives any amount of pleasure or satisfaction from his violent reactions--it's as if he thinks he is merely 'bringing justice' to the inadequacies of everyday life.
We learn that Foster's ultimate destination is to return to his ex-wife's home for his daughter's birthday. We learn from the ex-wife (played by Barbara Hershey) that she has a court order against him from seeing her or the daughter. She admits that he never actually resorted to violence against her on the daughter, but that she "thinks he could".
Robert Duvall plays Prendergast, an about-to-retire cop. Despite the fact that it's originally intended to be Prendergast's last day on the job, he becomes immersed in the trail being left by Foster. The two finally encounter each other in the movie's powerful 'big climax'--by this time, Foster has definitely reached the point of insanity, or as he says in his own words a bit earlier on in the film, "past the point of no return".
Michael Douglas makes it seems as though this kind of devastating emotional collapse could easily happen to just about any 'average Joe', and that's where a great deal of the film's power lies. "Falling Down" is a thought-provoking movie that really stays with you."