Deadfall (DVD Cover)

Cast: Addison (Eric Bana), Liza (Olivia Wilde), Jay Mills (Charlie Hunnam), Hanna Becker (Kate Mara), Sheriff Marshall T. Becker (Treat Williams), with Chet Mills (Kris Kristofferson), and June Mills (Sissy Spacek)

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky

Theatrical release: 12/07/2012
DVD Date: 02/05/2013

Rating: R
Running Time: 95 minutes

Note(s): Original screenplay by Zach Dean.

— ♦ —


Review: The handful of action scenes — and as I write this I can actually only recall one — in this thriller can't compensate for the incredibly slow pace as this cast of characters move from their respective starting points to converge around the dining room table at Thanksgiving.

Brother and sister Addison and Liza, together with a third person, have held up a casino in Michigan and are heading for the Canadian border when their car hits a deer during a snowstorm causing their car to crash. The third person dies, but Addison and Liza are able to extract themselves from the wreckage. Addison promptly kills the police officer that stops to assist them. The two survivors then head off into the forest, where they decide to split up in order to better their chances of escape. It is at this point that two storylines develop, which are almost certainly intended to define their characters and set up a confrontation later in the film. Neither storyline is altogether believable, nor are they interesting. Separately, the police are investigating the murder of one of their own, creating a wide circle around the crash site and slowly moving inward. In principle, this third storyline should provide tension and suspense, but is completely overshadowed by the awkward relationship between the Sheriff and his daughter, a deputy on the police force.

It's not a cliché to say that almost all the characters are written as seriously flawed in one way or the other. The exception here, Sissy Spacek as June Mills, is refreshing. And, possibly needless to say, she is the only realistic character here. The acting — again with the exception of Spacek — is uniformly uninspired and flat … and isn't helped by a lack of credible dialog.

About the only good thing that can be said about the film is that the plot elements of the screenplay are well thought out, and while the individual storylines aren't all that compelling on their own, they are cleverly weaved together so that it does make sense that everything comes together at a single place, the above mentioned dining room on Thanksgiving day.

I'm more negative than positive about Deadfall, but not so much to say it isn't worth seeing. Probably worth a rental, but not more.


Purchase and/or Rental Options:
Available on DVD Available on Blu-ray Disc Available on VOD Available on iTunes Available on Netflix

Watch a trailer for the film below:

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