The Academy Award winning Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky (Anatomy, The Counterfeiters) latest film Deadfall is a nice little film that isn’t going to win him any Academy Awards but should be enjoyable to most.
Addison (Eric Bana) and his sister Liza (Olivia Wilde) are on the run after robbing a casino. Things turn hectic when they get in a car accident and have to split up in the middle of a blizzard. It doesn’t take long for Liza to find a ride with the just recently released Jay (Charlie Hunnam) who offers her a ride to the nearest truck stop. After being snowed in for the night Jay and Liza get to know each other and then decide to go to Jay’s parent’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Nothing goes as planned though as Addison soon shows up.
The major problem with Deadfall is that is plays out to fast, relationship are built and broken in the blink of an eye. Not enough time is spent on developing any of the characters and there are way too many of them and all of them have some sort of strained relationship, from Jay and his parents to Addison and Liza to June and her father. Jay’s and Liza’s relationship moves to fast and it’s hard for me to believe that Liza could turn her back on her brother only after a day. The relationship between Deputy June and her father the town sheriff, Becker is just awkward and never feels to fit. I get it Becker would have preferred a son but again it just never fells justified and there for I could care less later on in the film when his life is put in danger. Jay’s and his parents specifically his dad relationship or lack thereof is never explained yet plays a part in the movie. Deadfall could have really benefited from better development and a longer run time in order to add some substance to the characters.
The acting for the most part is well done with Eric Bana and Kris Kristofferson being the stand outs. Bana plays a great villain who seems to be morally conflicted over the things he does. Although Kristofferson doesn’t have all that much screen time he does stand out as always putting on a great performance as the rugged ex sheriff, father and husband. Hunnam does well for what he has as does the rest of the cast. The directing is well done with some scenes having great tension.
Overall although Deadfall never feels consistent and just feels as if the movie is going through the motions, scene after scene, it is a rather enjoyable film. There is a lot worse film to waste your time on so if you don’t have anything else to watch and want to watch a decent action thriller, look no further, 3 out of 5.
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