(Review originally written at 27 June 2006)

This movie was one of the most surprising of the '90's. It has a refreshingly original concept and it works great as a social comment.

This movie is often being compared to "Taxi Driver". Although there are some similarities between these two movies, "Taxi Driver" is in a whole different league. "Falling Down" is less heavy and more lighthearted. Although, the fact that the movie here on IMDb is being categorized as a comedy isn't exactly right. The movie is more of a thriller that is brought in a refreshing and not too heavy way but never without loosing its power or without making a statement.

Mostly the movie is more of a social comment then anything else. It shows how an more or less average man one day gets fed up with the rotten society and tries to take matters into his own hands, which gets him into some 'unlikely' but also still somewhat recognizable situations. The movie is told in such a way that it implies that this could happen to every one of us. Therefor it's a bit too bad that toward the ending it becomes more and more obvious that the main character already had psychological problems to begin with. It doesn't really make the movie any less powerful or without making its point clear but its also a sort of an unnecessary addition to the story, that becomes a bit too 'Hollywood-ized' because of this. The movie its story is nothing too impressive but yet it is refreshing and enough stuff to make you think.

It's too bad that Michael Douglas never plays more roles like this. He is excellent in this movie and above all, he is highly believable in his role. I even dare to say that this is one of his very best roles till date. Robert Duvall is also great as the detective. The movie isn't you average 'cop hunts down psychopath who causes mayhem and destruction', which it easily could had turned into. I really have the feeling that this is also largely thanks to Robert Duvall, who plays his role very humane and gives his character a certain extra.

The events portrayed in the movie might feel a bit too silly and far fetched at times but the movie does makes its points clear. The movie isn't anything too heavy so you can also expect to be entertained. It makes "Falling Down" a perfectly brought and balanced thriller that is refreshingly original, entertains and makes you think as well.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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