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Falling Down (1993)

by Phil Ethington

Falling Down is a deliberate attempt by the screenwriter and director to create a timely and realistic portrait of Los Angeles and the state of the nation in the year after the Rodney King Uprising (April 1992). While Douglas plays the unbalanced and increasingly violent "D-FENS" sympathetically, his view of the immigrant metropolis is also sympathetically contemptous. In other words, the writing, directing,a nd acting all point to a real sympathy for the plight of crew-cut white-collar relic of the 1960s, with pen holder in his pocket, horn-rim glasses, and drafting tools in his bedroom in his mother's house. His Odyssey through the city he encounters monsters mainly, facing them down through a climax killing a neo-Nazi in the basement of the man's Army Navy Surplus store. The cityscapes a re very real, but also clearly enhanced with graffiti that looks more like set designers than hip-hop artists,w whose work was much better in the 1990s than what appears in some closeups here. Douglas plans his character as a man possessed of complete cool, unintimidated by two touch Latino gangsters. They are inexplicably unarmed except for a knife, so Douglas is able to vanquish them like a crazy Don Quijote. They later return with machine guns in a bloody drive-by scene. D-FENS (his name on his license plate), then appropriates the gym bag full of automatic weapons, to be deployed in subsequent scenes.

Falling Down "Gangland Thing" Scene

Falling Down Dir. Joel Schumacher. Warner Bros, 1993. Based on a script by Ebee Roe Smith, Starring Michael Douglas and co-starring Robert Duvall. The story of an unemployed Defense Industry missile engineer at the end of his rope.

from Falling Down (1993)
Creator: Joel Schumacher
Distributor: Warner DVD
Posted by Phil Ethington